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Refinery Explosion Aftermath: OSHA Fines BP $87 Million

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By Minara El-Rahman on November 06, 2009 5:50 AM

According to CBS, the multinational oil company BP has been hit hard with a fine from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. That fine is worth $87 million dollars.

What would cause OSHA to levy such a hefty fine? This fine comes after a six month inspection by OSHA revealed that the oil giant failed to repair hazards that were found at the BP refinery in Texas City, Texas back in 2005. There were hundreds of violations stemming from those hazards.

BP failed to correct the hazards despite an explosion that occurred in 2005 at the same BP refinery in Texas City, killing 15 people.

BP's response to the fine? They claim that they were not aware of the violations and believed that they were in full compliance.

According to CBS, "[a] BP spokesman says the company believed it was in 'full compliance' with the settlement agreement and will work with government officials to resolve the issue.

'We are disappointed that OSHA took this action in advance of the full consideration of the Review Commission,' the London-based company said in an emailed statement, referring to an ongoing separate inquiry by a body separate to OSHA.

'While we strongly disagree with their conclusions, we will continue to work with the agency to resolve our differences,' the company added."

OSHA has problems with BP in the past. In fact, if you look at the official OSHA website, they state that this current fine is the largest in OSHA's history, but also how BP managed to get into trouble with them before: "The prior largest total penalty, $21 million, was issued in 2005, also against BP."

BP plans to fight this fine according to the New York Times.

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