Exxon Mobil, U.S. Justice Department reaches settlement over 2013 Texas refinery fire

A logo of the Exxon Mobil Corp is seen at the Rio Oil and Gas Expo and Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The U.S. Justice Department and Exxon Mobil Corp have reached a settlement resolving Clean Air Act violations stemming from a 2013 fire at the company’s Beaumont, Texas, refinery that killed two employees and injured 10 others, the department said on Wednesday.

Under the consent decree, the company must pay a $616,000 civil penalty, hire a third-party auditor and purchase a vehicle for the Beaumont Fire and Rescue Service valued at $730,000, the department said in a statement.

The 2013 fire broke out at the refinery when workers removed bolts from a section of a heat exchanger using a torch, which released hydrocarbons, the Justice Department said.

A heat exchanger heats raw material entering a unit and cools product leaving a unit by having them pass close to each other in a dense piping system.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s inspection after the incident uncovered violations of Chemical Accident Prevention provisions, according to the Justice Department.

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