Texas Petrochemicals Company signed the legally binding agreement with the city of Houston. The company has agreed to reduce the amount of butadiene, a hazardous air pollutant, that is released from flares. The agreement also calls for a third party audit to verify the amount of reductions. Houston Mayor Bill White used the agreement to put other petrochemical industries in Houston on notice.
"No company owns the air of this city. No company has the right to alter it chemically in a way that would hurt our kids. We will find the best lawyers. I will do what it takes to come after you and make you comply with the law," he says.
White acknowledged what the refinery industry contributes to society. But he says Houston has ignored the air pollution issue for a long time. Texas Petrochemicals Company is under new management and White says they will be making the investments in upgrading equipment to make the air pollutant reductions possible.