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Air Pollution Reduction Settlement Reached For 6 Refineries

SEATTLE (AP) — The Justice Department and the U.S. Environmental Protection Company on Monday introduced a $425 million settlement with two firms to cut back air pollution at six petroleum refineries in the West.

chemical solvent storage tank yihai kerryThe settlement with Tesoro Corp. and Par Hawaii Refining resolves alleged violations of the federal Clear Air Act and requires installment of recent equipment to manage emissions.

It covers 5 refineries that Tesoro operates in underground coal gasification conclusion Kenai, Alaska; Anacortes, Washington; Salt Lake Metropolis, Utah; Mandan, North Dakota; and Martinez, California. It also covers Tesoro’s former refinery in Kapolei, Hawaii, which is now owned by Par Hawaii Refining

Under the consent decree, the companies will spend about $403 million to install gear to control carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and different emissions at the refineries that process crude oil into gasoline, diesel fuel and different products.

Federal officials say the settlement will enhance air quality for individuals and the setting as a result of the installed gear will reduce pollutants, together with an estimated forty seven,000 tons of carbon dioxide yearly.

Leaks, flares and excess emissions from the refineries emit harmful air pollutants identified or suspected to trigger most cancers, beginning defects, and critically harm the surroundings, the officials stated.

Tesoro may also spend about $12 million on three environmental enchancment projects, together with $1 million to substitute previous diesel college buses with new buses powered by pure gasoline in Contra Costa County, California. The San Antonio, Texas, firm will also pay a $10.5 million civil penalty.

The settlement “supplies necessary reductions of dangerous air pollution in communities going through environmental and health challenges,” stated Assistant Lawyer Basic John C. Cruden of the Justice Division’s Atmosphere and Natural Assets Division.

Tesoro said in a statement Monday that it agreed to settle the case by making the investments to cut back emissions however didn’t admit any violations. The corporate added that a lot of the initiatives to reduce emissions have been completed or are in progress, underground coal gasification conclusion with about $75 million of labor left to do after the tip of this 12 months.

“We’re dedicated to working in a protected and responsible method that reduces the affect on the atmosphere,” mentioned Keith Casey, Tesoro’s government vice president of operations.

Par Pacific Holdings Inc. the parent firm of Par Hawaii Refining, mentioned the alleged violations occurred earlier than it acquired the refinery from Tesoro in September 2013. In a press release, Par Pacific said Tesoro will reimburse it for capital expenditures and fines associated to the consent decree.

The settlement was filed Monday in U.S. District Courtroom for the Western District of Texas, along with the underground coal gasification conclusion complaint filed by the federal authorities, the states of Hawaii and Alaska and the Northwest Clean Air Company that regulates air high quality in northwestern Washington state.

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