Saturday, October 8, 2011

Koch Industries' Environmental Crimes

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The Koch companies have a notorious environmental record. According to Greenpeace, in the last 15 years they have amassed an impressive rap sheet that includes everything from environmental violations to negligence causing death. In 2009, the US Justice Department and the EPA announced that Koch Industries' Invista subsidiary would pay a $1.7 million penalty and spend $500 million to fix environmental violations at facilities in seven states.

In May 2001, Koch Industries paid $25 million to settle with the US Government for the company's long-standing practice of illegally removing oil from federal and Indian lands.

In late 2000, the company was charged with covering up the illegal releases of 91 tons of the known carcinogen benzene from its refinery in Corpus Christi. Koch eventually cut a deal with then-Attorney General John Ashcroft to drop all major charges in exchange for a guilty plea for falsifying documents, and a $20 million settlement.

In 2000, the EPA fined Koch Industries $30 million for its role in 300 oil spills that resulted in more than three million gallons of crude oil leaking into ponds, lakes, streams and coastal waters.

In 1999 a Koch subsidiary pleaded guilty to charges that it had negligently allowed aviation fuel to leak into waters near the Mississippi River from its refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota, and that it had illegally dumped a million gallons of high-ammonia wastewater onto the ground and into the Mississippi.

In 1996, two people where burned alive in their vehicle due to a poorly maintained Koch pipeline that had leaked flammable butane into a residential Texas neighborhood.

Koch's crimes are not limited to spills of oil, ammonia, aviation fuel, benzene, and butane. A recently released Greenpeace expose uncovered Koch industries connections with climate denial front groups.

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