Sinclair Oil to spend millions on pollution control equipment

Michael P. Tremoglie Aug. 22, 2012, 10:33am

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - Sinclair Oil will have to pay stipulated penalties totaling $3,844,000 and spend approximately $10.5 million on additional pollution control equipment and other projects to settle alleged violations of air pollution limits.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice announced the settlement on Monday.

The company's two subsidiaries, Sinclair Casper Refining Co. and Sinclair Wyoming Refining Co., established the limits with a 2008 consent decree for the refineries in Casper and Sinclair. The Sinclair companies must reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by approximately 24 tons per year, sulfur dioxide by approximately 385 tons per year, and particulate matter by approximately 59 tons per year, according to the EPA communique.

"EPA is committed to ensuring that companies comply with environmental requirements that protect people's health," said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

"This settlement holds Sinclair accountable for exceeding the emissions limits agreed to in a previous settlement for Clean Air Act violations and ensures that the people of Wyoming have cleaner, healthier air."

The additional pollution control equipment will include a selective catalytic reduction system to control NOx emissions, upgrading the flare gas recovery system to meet SO2 emissions limits and completion of a project to provide road paving at its Casper refinery that will reduce particulate matter emissions by an additional 59 tons per year and reduce fuel oil burning at the Casper refinery from the existing 188 tons per year limit to no more than 95 tons per year, according to the EPA.

Clint Ensign, a senior vice president at Sinclair Oil issued a statement saying, "Sinclair Oil Corp. has worked in good faith with the government to reach agreement on the consent decree and the company has resolved, or is in the process of resolving, items of concern noted in that document."

EPA said the settlement is subject to court approval after a 30-day public comment period.

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