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  • Writer's picturePhil Griffis

Pasadena Refinery Sued for Alleged Clean Air Act Violations

Updated: Mar 23, 2019

The Sierra Club and Environment Texas have filed a citizen enforcement lawsuit against Pasadena Refining System, Inc., claiming violations of the Clean Air Act.  The suit, filed in March in federal court in Houston, claims that PRSI has repeatedly violated the permits issued it by the Texas Commission on Environment Quality, which govern the emission of pollutants from the refinery.

The Clean Air Act authorizes private citizens to file suit against any person alleged to have violated an emission standard mandated by the Act.

The suit claims multiple emissions of particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds.  It specifically refers to two fires in 2011, an explosion in March 2016 and a chemical release in July 2016.

The Sierra Club alleges area residents have been required to change their behavior and have been exposed to thick haze, odors and a variety of adverse health conditions. The groups claim money damages, but do not state the amount they are seeking.

The refinery has not yet answered the suit.


Phil Griffis obtained his first jury verdict in 1990, when he convinced a jury that a customer’s fall at his client’s store did not cause the customer’s aspiration pneumonia and stroke. In the years since he has continued to win in courtrooms across the State of Texas.

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