HOUSTON (AP) – A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced Exxon Mobil to pay a $ 14.25 million fine for an 11-year-old lawsuit over alleged eight-year violation of the Clean Air Act at its flagship refinery in Baytown, Texas.

By establishing the sanction, which will go to the United States Treasury, Houston District Judge David Hittner reduced a previous one of almost $ 20 million imposed in 2017. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals had annulled it in July when ruling an appeal from Exxon and returned the case to Hittner.

Exxon Mobil is “reviewing the decision and considering the next steps,” said its spokesman, Todd Spitler, in a statement. Luke Metzger, executive director of Environment Texas, the NGO that filed the suit in 2010, said he expects more appeals.

“Exxon has been fighting this case for 11 years, refusing to take any responsibility for dumping millions of pounds of illegal pollution into communities in Texas,” Metzger said in a statement. scorched earth, pay your penalty and drop these endless appeals. “

In his latest ruling, Hittner said Environment Texas, the Sierra Club and the National Center for Environmental Law had proven thousands of cases of illegal burning and unauthorized release of pollutants that caused smoke, chemical odors, ground-level ozone and respiratory problems.

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