Refiners Settle Clean Air Claims for $415M

     (CN) — Two oil refiners have agreed to spend $415 million to install pollution-control equipment at refineries in six Western states to resolve Clean Air Act violations, the Justice Department said Monday.
     Subsidiaries of Tesoro and Par Hawaii Refining will spend $403 million to install and operate new pollution-control devices, and Tesoro will spend another $12 million to fund environmental projects in communities impacted by refinery pollution. The company will also pay a $10.45 million civil penalty under the settlement, which was lodged as a consent decree in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.
     The Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency said the settlement resolves Clean Air Act violations at refineries in Alaska, California, Hawaii, North Dakota, Utah and Washington state.
     Once installed, the emissions equipment will reduce 773 tons of sulfur dioxide, 407 tons of nitrogen oxides, 1,140 tons of volatile organic compounds and 47,000 tons of carbon dioxide — a greenhouse gas — annually. In fact, the settlement will reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the six refineries by 60 percent, the Justice Department said.
     Tesoro is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, and operates five of the refineries. Par Hawaii purchased the sixth refinery, near Honolulu, from Tesoro in 2013.
     There will be a 30-day opportunity for the public to comment on the consent decree before it takes effect.

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