Citgo to Pay Up Over Clean Air Act Violations

     (CN) – Citgo will pay a $737,000 fine and install air pollution controls at refineries in Illinois and Louisiana to resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations, the Justice Department says.
     In a complaint filed at the same time as the settlement, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alleged Houston-based Citgo’s Lake Charles, La., refinery produced fuel that exceeded the refinery’s annual average emissions limit for mobile source air toxics, including benzene.
     The EPA further alleged that Citgo failed to sample and test reformulated gasoline blendstock at its Lemont, Ill.,refinery, as required by the CAA.
     In addition to the penalty, the settlement, filed in the Southern District of Texas, requires Citgo to implement projects that are expected to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including toxics, by more than 100 tons over the next five years.
     “The terms of this settlement require projects to significantly reduce harmful air pollution, including reductions in benzene emissions and other cancer-causing air toxics,” said Robert G. Dreher, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “This agreement will benefit communities across the United States with cleaner healthier air and will bring mobile sources of pollution under control, according to the standards of the Clean Air Act.”
     To reduce VOC emissions, including toxics, the settlement requires that Citgo install and maintain a geodesic dome on one of the fuel storage tanks at its Lemont refinery, as well as carbon adsorption systems on two fuel storage tanks at its Lake Charles refinery.
     The settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. It will be available for viewing here.
     Citgo had not responded to a request for comment Thursday night.

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