Enforcement lawsuit filed against Pasadena refinery

(Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan)

PASADENA, Texas – Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan has filed an enforcement suit to hold a polluting Pasadena refinery responsible for repeated violations of Texas environmental protection laws. 

Investigations by Harris County Pollution Control Services found that the century-old Pasadena Refining Services Inc. (PRSI) violated the Texas Clean Air Act and the Texas Clean Water Act on multiple occasions, the lawsuit filing claimed. 

Ryan's office is asking the court to investigate the company's environmental practices and for corrective measures to be made.

PRSI is accused of violations on several occasions, including an incident on July 25, 2016, in which 1,446 pounds of sulfur dioxide was released during a flaring operation. 

PHOTOS: Images submitted by Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan of Pasadena refinery

According to the county, the release was almost five- times the legal limit and as a result the Washburn Tunnel and the Houston Ship Channel were closed. The city of Galena Park was also issued a shelter-in-place that lasted over an hour. 

County officials and company representatives met March 2 and agreed to work together to resolve the issue. 

PRSI released the following statement: 

"Pasadena Refining System Inc. is aware of the lawsuit being brought by Harris County and is currently reviewing the filing. We are committed to complying with all local, state and federal regulations and keeping our team’s focus on safe and reliable operations."