Shell reaches settlement in Houston pollution case

Shell Oil Co. on Wednesday agreed to spend about $160 million to settle legal complaints about chronic pollution problems at its refinery and petrochemical plant along the Houston Ship Channel.

Shell also will pay a $2.6 million fine. The company also will spend $200,000 to reduce emissions from local school buses.

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Under the agreement with federal regulators, Shell will take steps to reduce emissions of benzene, sulfur dioxide and other hazardous air pollutants from industrial flares at its Deer Park refinery, one of the largest in the nation. The company also will install a system that will provide public data on pollution levels at the edges of the complex, which is near houses and

“The provisions of the settlement are consistent with Shell Deer Park’s objectives and ongoing activities to reduce emissions at the site and upgrade our flaring infrastructure,” said Kayla Macke, a company spokeswoman.