HOUSTON (Reuters) – A Texas grand jury on Friday indicted chemicals manufacturer Arkema North America and two of its executives for releasing emissions that allegedly endangered the public after a 2017 hurricane.
The U.S. arm of the French chemicals firm, its Chief Executive Richard Rowe and the manager of its Crosby, Texas manufacturing plant, Leslie Comardelle, are charged with the “reckless” release of a toxic cloud last September, prosecutors said.
The company’s plant became waterlogged and lost power needed to keep volatile chemicals cooled after Hurricane Harvey dumped more than 50 inches of rain on the area. The company and local officials set several containers of chemicals ablaze after a series of explosions occurred at the site.
Reporting by Gary McWilliams; Editing by Susan Thomas