"These companies, Chevron Phillips has a permit, it says how much they're allowed to pollute and by their own admission they are exceeding those permits. Thereby, they are violating the law and they must be held accountable."
While the previous two lawsuits against chemical companies were brought on by the attorney general, they aren't enough the groups say. Metzger believes the reason more companies aren't penalized or taken to court is because of politics.
"Governor Perry and others take large amounts of contributions from the polluting industry and I would allege that that contributes to the enforcement program at TCQE."
Neil Carman with the Sierra Club believes the pollution problems are avoidable.
"Nearly a hundred percent of these upset emissions are preventable, if the companies would spend the money and take the time to comply with the law."
A spokesman with Chevron Phillips says it's not that simple. Brian Cain says the company acknowledges the mishaps but says much of it was out of their control.
"Some of the air emission violations came as a result of hurricanesÎ¾—Î¾Ike and Rita — as well as power outages that were outside the company's control but since 2001 this plant has reduced its total reportable emissions events by more than 73-percent."
Lawyers for both sides have reportedly met and are optimistic the case can be resolved. The Sierra Club says Chevron Phillips isn't the only major polluter out there and they're planning future legal action against those companies as well.
Bill Stamps. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.