Monday Accident & Lessons Learned: Criminal Charges After the Flood – Are They Justified?
Three Arkema executives are facing criminal charges after the fires that occurred as a result of flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. Here is the US Chemical Safety Board video about the accident…
The CSB video seems to imply that Arkema personnel did all they could do in a historic flooding event (greater than once in every 500-year flood).
However, KIM Ogg, the new District Attorney for Harris County, said:
“The facts show Arkema knew of the dangers, withheld vital information,
and unleashed harm on first responders and the community.
This felony indictment is a wake-up call to companies that would
pollute our air and waterways, ignore best practices in safety,
and put our communities at risk.”
She also said:
“Companies should be on notice that we care when
they pollute our air, our water, our environment.”
In a quote from the Houstonia, environmental lawyer Jim Blackburn said:
“It doesn’t happen very often around here, but then,
Kim Ogg is a different kind of district attorney than
we’ve had before. She’s making a point.”
The executives now face up to five years in jail if found guilty.
What do you think?
Does the DA need to “make a point” to stop these kinds of incidents?
Is criminal prosecution the way to improve performance?