Environmental Health & Safety

Jury Indicts Arkema For Chemical Release After Harvey

By Chemical Processing Staff

Aug 07, 2018

As Hurricane Harvey’s floodwaters rose last year, refrigerated containers holding thousands of pounds of chemicals at Arkema’s Houston-area plant lost power and eventually degraded – sending plumes of black smoke into the air. On Friday, a Texas jury handed down a series of indictments charging the company and top officials with “recklessly” releasing chemicals, endangering first responders and residents, according to an article from The Texas Tribune. The indictments reportedly name Arkema North America CEO Richard Rowe and Plant Manager Leslie Comardelle.  

Since the storm, lawsuits have piled up, according to the article, alleging that Arkema was negligent and failed to prepare for the flooding. A Chemical Safety Board inspection also found the company ill-prepared for the disaster.  Arkema spokesperson Janet Smith reportedly called the charges “astonishing.”

Read the entire article here.