Thursday, June 21, 2018

BP agrees to pay $13 million more in for safety violations at Texas refinery

WASHINGTON — Oil giant BP has agreed to pay an additional $13 million to settle charges of failing to fix safety violations at its Texas City oil refinery after a 2005 explosion killed 15 workers.

The settlement announced Thursday is the latest move toward resolving hundreds of violations at the plant alleged by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

BP had already paid $50 million in 2010 to settle some of the OSHA violations. The government had been seeking a total of $80 million in penalties, the largest fine in its history.

Resolving the fines could help BP in its effort to sell the Texas City refinery, now the nation's sixth largest. The settlement comes as BP attempts to restore its global reputation and resolve litigation over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

"Their behavior has significantly improved in terms of safety since then, and I think this will send a strong message out to the industry as well," said Jordan Barab, deputy assistant secretary for OSHA.

The settlement resolves all but 30 of more than 700 violations discovered at the plant in 2009. Barab said he expects the rest to be litigated or settled in the future but stressed that there are no further imminent dangers at the refinery.

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