valero fined for air emissions

Money to be used at funding local schools and transit systems.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has fined San Antonio, Texas-based Valero Energy Corp. $119,149 for air emissions released by its Texas City plant in 2006, according to the Express-News.

The TCEQ cited 12 different incidents that occurred at the plant. During each incident, sulfur dioxide or volatile organic compounds were released into the air. Experts say that the emissions could have been prevented by good operating practices.

The state already has plans for the money coming in from the fines. Half of the fine money will be used in local school districts and transit agencies to help replace or retrofit diesel buses to reduce emissions, the TCEQ said.

“Sometimes when large fines are levied, a portion is dedicated to an environment project in an affected area,” TCEQ spokeswoman Andrea Morrow told the newspaper.

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