Sinclair refinery to pay $3.8M penalty for violations

Sinclair Oil Corp. has agreed to pay $3.8 million in penalties for alleged violations of pollution controls at its oil refineries in the Wyoming towns of Casper and Sinclair.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday a settlement with Sinclair Oil Corp.’s two Wyoming subsidiaries, including an agreement to install $10.5 million in pollution controls estimated to reduce air pollution by nearly 450 tons per year, according to the agencies.

“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 settlement will require the Sinclair companies to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by approximately 24 tons per year, sulfur dioxide (SO2) by approximately 385 tons per year, and particulate matter by approximately 59 tons per year.

The alleged violations stem from Sinclair’s failure to meet the terms of the 2008 consent decree, including exceeding NOx emissions limits at the Casper and Sinclair, Wyoming refineries and failing to comply with requirements to operate and maintain a flare gas recovery system at the Sinclair Refinery, resulting in excess emissions of SO2. The problems will be addressed by installing and operating a selective catalytic reduction system to control NOx emissions and by upgrading the flare gas recovery system to meet SO2 emissions limits. Sinclair will also complete 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.

The settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.

More about the settlement:

http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/civil/caa/sinclair.html

Check out these stories and columns related to Wyoming’s refineries and workplace safety:

Wyoming refiners consider safety alliance

— Wyo OSHA witnessed fires and fire hazards prior to workers being burned

— Fuel Factories; Communities at risk

— Wyoming takes courtesy approach to curbing workplace deaths

— Widow of fallen Wyoming worker speaks

 

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Published on August 20, 2012

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