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BP to Remain in Benzene Lawsuit Despite Sale of Refinery

According to an article featured in the Daily News, during the time BP's Texas City oil refinery released thousands of pounds of toxic emissions in the air in 2010; the refinery's leadership team was searching for ways to avoid reporting the emissions to state regulators. Reportedly, records also show company officials were aware 10 days into the 40-day event that emissions during the extended flaring violated the company's air-quality permits. However, despite warnings, the leadership at the refinery chose to continue to keep the plant running.

Reportedly, between April 6, 2010, and May 16, 2010, BP reported it sent more than 530,000 pounds of chemicals into the air during flaring after a compressor on the ultracracker malfunctioned. The public was unaware of the emissions event until 20 days after repairs were made and flaring stopped.

Sources say that BP has recently announced it will sell its Texas City refinery to Marathon Petroleum. The refinery is the target of a lawsuit with more than 45,000 people claiming the toxin released during a 40-day period in 2010 caused health problems. Reportedly, the trial is scheduled to start next year. Despite the sale of the sale of the refinery, BP will remain the defendant in the case because the sale agreement exempts Marathon from any liability from events prior to the sale.

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