COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Ohio EPA Director Scott Nally announced an agreement on Wednesday with Heartland Petroleum to temporarily shut down its Columbus petroleum product refinery.

The refinery will remain shut down until previously court ordered emissions control systems can be installed. A journal entry and order was filed on Wednesday in Franklin County Environmental Court by Judge Harland Hale ordering the shutdown.

"Today's order was necessary to protect the well-being of nearby workers and residents," DeWine said. "I am pleased that an agreement was reached to temporarily shut down the facility and install the required systems without delay."

Heartland Petroleum operates a refinery on the east side of Columbus that reprocesses petroleum products, including used motor oil. In September 2010, pursuant to DeWine's request for injunctive relief, the court issued an order that required Heartland to study and implement engineering modifications to address emissions violations. Last month, after DeWine filed charges in contempt, Heartland voluntarily shut down the refinery to make modifications to address recurring emissions issues involving odorous sulfur-containing compounds.

Since Heartland resumed operations on Oct. 19, additional emissions control issues have allegedly been identified at the refinery that have resulted in continued nuisance conditions and odor emissions.

The order requires Heartland to shut down the facility by Friday. The order also requires two separate measures required by the judge's Oct. 18 order to be installed before the facility can reopen. Those systems, a closed loop vapor recovery system and a nitrogen blanket system, are intended to address the ongoing odor emissions.

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