A recent Houston Chronicle article mentions that though our state environmental agency issued 1,756 penalties last year against illegally polluting companies, the fines averaged just $8,300. Many of these companies produce billions of dollars in revenue, suggesting that what many have claimed for years is indeed true: It’s cheaper for companies to pay penalties than prevent pollution.
When public campaigns, official regulations, negligible fines and poor enforcement don’t work, clean air advocates resort to the courts for help. Filing lawsuits sometimes seems to be the only way to get the attention necessary for improving Texas air quality.
Likewise, you might have recently read about Sierra Club and Environment Texas seeking millions in penalties from a lawsuit they filed against the Exxon Baytown facility. Two similar suits, one against Shell and another Read More