SOLOMON-GREENBAUM: The petrochemical company Koch has pled guilty to covering up violations of the Clean Air Act. Just days after an inspection by regulators in 1995, the company disconnected pollution control equipment at an oil refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas. The equipment was supposed to control benzene emissions, and with it disabled Koch released 91 tons of the carcinogen, almost 15 times the refinery's limit. In a plea bargain with the Justice Department, Koch agreed to pay $20 million in fines. That's one of the most expensive settlements ever in an environmental crime case. This isn't Koch's first tangle with environmental regulators. Last year the company paid the government $30 million in fines for leaking three million gallons of oil in six states. That's this week's business update. I'm Anna Solomon-Greenbaum.
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