Expert Says Chemical Industry Closely Following Upcoming Arkema Trial



An expert in environmental law told Houston Matters Monday the upcoming trialagainst Arkema and two of its executives over the emission of pollutants at its Crosby plant because of a fire that occurred during Hurricane Harvey is being closely followed by the chemical industry.

A hearing regarding the trial was held in Houston Monday and Tracy Hester, professor of Environmental Law at the University of Houston’s Law Center, said this is “a bellwether case.”

“There is a lot of interest, a lot of attention, a lot of concern,” Hester said, “among industrial operators who are watching this case because, essentially, it creates the possibility that even companies that think that they’ve gotten their compliance in a row and they’re complying with regulations may still face possible criminal liability if they are deemed to (have) acted in a reckless fashion, which isn’t really defined by a particular statutory requirement.”

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