Posted Oct 24, 2007 01:47 pm CDT
The British energy company BP is expected to plead guilty to environmental charges to settle a criminal investigation into an explosion at a Texas oil refinery two years ago that killed 15 people.
The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports the oil giant is expected to pay a $50 million fine in connection with the explosion. In a separate case, the company is expected to pay $303 million to resolve civil allegations that it manipulated the propane market.
The refinery settlement shows the Justice Department is willing to take a tough stance in environmental and worker safety prosecutions, the New York Times reports.
The company’s legal woes are not yet over. It has set aside $1.6 billion to pay claims in 1,000 pending civil suits filed in connection with the refinery accident, the Times says.