"If you can picture in your mind these industrial plants and all the various connectors on the pipes of the industrial plants and imagining that in many locations on those pipes there are leaks."
Abbott says some of those leaks may have been occurring as early as 2003. The companies are on the honor system and are supposed to report any leaks to authorities and fix them right away. Abbott says that didn't happen. Although this may have going on for some time right in Houston, the Attorney General says there's no need for residents to worry.
"We all need to be concerned about the quality of our air, the quality of our water, Î¾but there's nothing that these companies did that should cause any local residents to lose any sleep,Î¾because their health is not immediately at risk."
A state judge is expected to approve the settlement in the next month.
Bill Stamps... KUHF Houston Public Radio News.