BP faces $1B lawsuit for Texas City refinery emissions

April 16, 2013 10:11:54 AM PDT
More than 470 people are suing BP for $1 billion, saying they got sick in 2011 from a 15-day leak at a Texas City refinery that was the site of a deadly explosion.

The refinery has since been sold to Marathon Petroleum. &The Galveston County Daily News reports that BP says a storage tank leaked mercaptan in November 2011. Mercaptan is a pungent, harmless gas often added to natural gas so that the odorless, flammable substance can be more easily detected. &Attorney Anthony Buzbee says the leak also contained sulfur dioxide, a toxic gas. &BP has declined to comment. &In 2005, 15 people were killed in the refinery explosion. BP has also been sued by more than 50,000 people who say they got sick from a leak in 2010.

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