Feds, Exxon Mobil reach settlement over refinery fire claims

BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) — Federal officials say they’ve reached a settlement with Exxon Mobil on federal Clean Air Act claims arising from a deadly 2013 fire at its Beaumont, Texas, refinery.

Two workers died and 10 others were hurt in the April 17, 2013, fire, which erupted as workers used a torch to remove bolts from the top of a device called a heat exchanger.

The Irving, Texas-based petroleum giant agrees to pay a $616,000 civil penalty, hire an independent auditor to audit company procedures for opening such equipment as the heat exchanger, and purchase a hazardous material incident command vehicle for the Beaumont Fire and Rescue Service valued at $730,000.

The refinery is part of a complex near downtown Beaumont, which is about 90 miles (145 kilometers) northeast of Houston.

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