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Monday, April 12, 2021

Mercury studies among suggestions for Texas gas co. fine

MICHELLE R. SMITH, Associated Press   PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Environmentalists are urging a federal judge to consider setting aside money to fund mercury studies, a program to reduce food waste and other projects as possible punishments for a Texas gas company convicted of an environmental crime in Rhode Island. Southern Union Co. of Houston was convicted of improperly storing mercury at a dilapidated warehouse in Pawtucket. Teenaged vandals eventually got into the warehouse and spilled the mercury, making many people sick. After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned an $18 million penalty, U.S. District Judge William Smith said he was limited to fining the company $500,000 and asked environmentalists for ideas on how to punish the company. One proposal aims to clean up a school next to where the mercury was spilled. Another would collect compact fluorescent lamps from hardware stores.  

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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