US oil giant ExxonMobil was fined a record £2.8 million ($4.3 million) for failing to report 30,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions from a Scottish chemical plant, the highest financial penalty ever imposed for any environmental offence in British history.
The fine imposed by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) was under the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations that came into effect in 2005.
The fine, which was imposed in 2010, was revealed late last week by the SEPA in its 2010-2011 report that said that the world's largest oil and gas company failed in 2008 to account for 33,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions from its ethylene plant in Mosmorran, Scotland.
Under the European Union environmental regulations and trading scheme ETS, companies which fail to report their greenhouse gas emissions can be fined €100 per tonne for unreported emissions.
An Exxon spokesman told BusinessGreen, the UK's leading web site for green business news and analysis, the under-reported emissions was an error due to "incorrect mapping of routings."
He added that the mistake was immediately reported when it was spotted and that the company has now fully reviewed and improved its procedures to avoid a repeat of the mistake.