Koch Industries’ Environmental Crimes
In 2009, the US JusticeDepartment and the EPA announced that Koch Industries’ Invista subsidiary would pay a $1.7 million penalty and spend $500 millionto fix environmental violations at facilities in seven states.
In May 2001, Koch Industries paid $25 million to settle with the US Government for the company’slong-standing practice of illegally removing oil from federal and Indian lands.
In late 2000, the company was charged with covering upthe illegal releases of 91 tons of the known carcinogen benzene from its refinery in Corpus Christi. Koch eventually cut a deal withthen-Attorney General John Ashcroft to drop all major charges inexchange for a guilty plea for falsifying documents, and a $20 millionsettlement.
In 2000, the EPA fined Koch Industries $30 millionfor its role in 300 oil spills that resulted in more than three million gallons ofcrude oil leaking into ponds, lakes, streams and coastal waters.
In1999 a Koch subsidiary pleaded guilty to charges that it had negligentlyallowed aviation fuel to leak into waters near the Mississippi Riverfrom its refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota, and that it had illegallydumped a million gallons of high-ammonia wastewater onto the ground andinto the Mississippi.
Koch’s crimes are not limited to spills of oil, ammonia, aviation fuel,benzene, and butane. A recently released Greenpeace expose uncoveredKoch industries connections with climate denial front groups.
Richard Matthews is a consultant, sustainable investor, writer and owner of The Green Market Oracle, a leading sustainable business blog that covers the convergence of sustainable capitalism and the global environment.The Green Market is one of the most comprehensive resources for information and tools on sustainability. Follow The Green Market's twitter feed and see the Facebook Fan Page. Richard is a contributor to more than 50 publications. Find him on Facebook and Linkedin.
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