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Arkema executives acquitted of criminal charges over Crosby fire

October 05/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Three Arkema executives charged over a 2017 explosion and fire at the companys Crosby, Texas organic peroxides plant during Hurricane Harvey have been acquitted, said Chemweek.

The indictment accused Arkema North America CEO Richard Rowe and plant manager Leslie Comardelle of playing a role in recklessly releasing chemicals into the air, putting residents and first responders at risk. An additional assault charge against former logistics executive Michael Keough was dropped last month.

Arkema called the trial an attempt to criminalize the impact of a natural disaster that Harris County itself was not prepared for. While Arkema was found to have been prepared for a 500-year flood, our Crosby plant had a 5,000-20,000 year rainfall and the resulting flooding rose 30 inches above the 500-year flood level, Arkema tells CW in a statement. Our plant employees went to heroic lengths to protect the public, and when flooding overwhelmed their every effort, we proactively notified emergency responders and the public, days before the first fire started.  We communicated extensively with the Unified Command that coordinated emergency response, and explicitly warned that emergency responders should wear respirators if they might be exposed to smoke from the fires. We cannot fathom why they did not do so, but it certainly was not for lack of warning.

The company added that it did not believe any indictment would have been granted without false information being presented to the grand jury. The prosecutors in this case repeatedly, blatantly and unapologetically broke rules that are in place to protect us all by ensuring our fundamental right to a fair trial, Arkema says. The statement added that the judge, Belinda Hill, twice found that the prosecutors had committed misconduct.

As MRC said earlier, Arkema announces the start-up of a new world-scale industrial adhesives plant in Japan. Those new capacities will enable Bostik to serve its Japanese customers in the continuously growing markets of diapers.

As MRC informed earlier, Russia's output of products from polymers grew in August 2020 by 4.1% year on year. However, this figure increased by 1.9% year on year in the first eight months of 2020. According to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, August production of unreinforced and non-combined films rose to 126,300 tonnes from 118,200 tonnes a month earlier. Output of films products grew in January-August 2020 by 8.3% year on year to 863,200 tonnes.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:petroleum products, neftegaz, petrochemistry, Arkema.
Category:General News
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