Arkema Chemical Fire Near Houston Prompts Criminal Charges : Short Wave That's the central question of an unprecedented lawsuit against a company whose chemical plant flooded during Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. Containers and trailers there caught fire, sending up a column of black smoke above the facility for days. Now Arkema (the company), an executive, and the local plant manager are facing criminal charges — recklessly emitting air pollution, and a third employee with assault.

Rebecca's latest reporting on the case is here.

Email the show at shortwave@npr.org.

Is Failure To Prepare For Climate Change A Crime?

Is Failure To Prepare For Climate Change A Crime?

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Smoke from chemical fires at a Houston-area facility owned by the company Arkema, which flooded during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Trailers and storage containers that burned in the fires released soot and other air pollution. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Smoke from chemical fires at a Houston-area facility owned by the company Arkema, which flooded during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Trailers and storage containers that burned in the fires released soot and other air pollution.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

That's the central question of an unprecedented lawsuit against a company whose chemical plant flooded during Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. Containers and trailers there caught fire, sending up a column of black smoke above the facility for days. Now Arkema (the company), an executive, and the local plant manager are facing criminal charges — recklessly emitting air pollution, and a third employee with assault.

Rebecca's latest reporting on the case is here.

This episode was produced by Brent Baughman, edited by Viet Le, and fact-checked by Maddie Sofia.