Shell pays $500,000 to Harris County for pollution

September 6, 2011 9:31:27 AM PDT
Shell Chemical L.P. has agreed to pay $500,000 to Harris County over five different air pollution events at its Deer Park refinery.

The settlement was reached after the county accused Shell of failing to notify officials about the toxic releases. There are two schools and many homes close to the Shell refinery in Deer Park, about 18 miles southeast of Houston.

Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan says he is pleased Shell agreed under the terms of the agreement to notify officials within 24 hours of any chemical releases. The law already requires petrochemical companies to notify the county, but Shell apparently failed to do so in five events between 2008 and 2010.