BP's Texas refinery 'largest emitter of carcinogenic toxins in US'

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A new report has named a Texas refinery owned and operated by BP as the largest emitter of carcinogenic toxins in the US.

The list of polluting refineries, drawn up by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), a non-profit group, said the BP Texas City refinery was by far the largest refinery source of such emissions in 2004, the last year for which figures are available. The refinery was the centre of controversy in 2005 when a explosion resulted in 15 fatalities.

Denny Larson, a campaigner with the EIP, said the results undermined BP's claims to be concerned about the environment. "It shows they have been investing in public relations not in better performance...People want clean air, not brochures," he said.

EIP director, Eric Schaeffer, added: "Companies like Exxon Mobil and Sunoco Companies keep reporting record profits while increasing emissions of more cancer causing chemicals from their refineries. Let's hope oil companies invest some of that windfall in making the air around their refineries a little safer."

No-one from BP was yesterday available for comment. Earlier this week the company announced that three US universities were to participate in a $500m research programme to investigate how bioscience can increase energy production and reduce environmental impacts.