OSHA has proposed $87.43 million in fines against BP for the company’s failure to correct hazards uncovered after the 2005 explosion at its Texas City, TX, plant that killed 15 people and injured 170 others.
The previous largest penalty was also against BP after the Texas City explosion. BP signed a settlement with OSHA and agreed to pay $21 million in fines.
As part of the settlement, BP also agreed to correct violations at the plant. OSHA claims it hasn’t. It’s issued 270 citations for failure-to-abate previous violations. That totals $556.7 million in fines at a rate of $7,000 per fine times 30 days.
OSHA also found 439 new willful violations, totaling $30.7 million.
Since the 2005 incident, four more fatalities have occurred at the Texas City facility.
The New York Times reports that, in the 30 years before the 2005 explosion, there were 23 deaths at the Texas City refinery.
“The $87 million fine won’t restore those  lives, but we can’t let this happen again,” said U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.
“BP was given four years to correct the safety issues identified pursuant to the settlement agreement, yet OSHA has found hundreds of violations of the agreement and hundreds of new violations,” said acting OSHA administrator Jordan Barab.
Since the explosion, BP has settled more than 4,000 civil claims, paid from a $2.1 billion fund it set aside.
The BP refinery is the third largest in the country.
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