Ohio AG seeks shutdown of refinery

Bryan Cohen Oct. 31, 2011, 12:49pm


COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Friday that his office is seeking the temporary shutdown of a Columbia petroleum product refinery for alleged air pollution violations.

Heartland Petroleum allegedly violated previous court orders prohibiting the company from releasing uncontrolled emissions that caused a public odor nuisance. On behalf of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, DeWine filed written charges in contempt against Heartland in Franklin County Environmental Court.

"The state of Ohio cannot allow a facility to release harmful emissions in violation of its permit," DeWine said. "For the protection of nearby workers and residents and to ensure compliance with Ohio laws and regulations, it is necessary that we seek a temporary shutdown of this facility while these recurring emissions problems are corrected."

Heartland Petroleum operates a refinery on the eastside of Columbus that reprocesses petroleum products like used motor oil. In September 2010, the court issued an order requiring that Heartland study and implement engineering modifications to address odor nuisances and emissions violations. Earlier this month, Heartland voluntarily shut down the refinery to make modifications to address the recurring emissions issues that involved odorous sulfur-containing compounds. The modifications revealed underlying problems at the refinery. Heartland resumed operations on Oct. 19, with odors allegedly continuing to be a nuisance.

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