Sinclair to pay $3.8 million for pollution violations

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 20, 2012 1:49 PM
Sinclair to pay $3.8 million for pollution violations

(Reuters) - Sinclair Oil Corp will pay $3.8 million in penalties and spend $10.5 million for pollution-control equipment at its Wyoming refineries to settle allegations it exceeded air pollution limits, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday.

The settlement involves the company's failure to meet the terms of a 2008 consent decree reached with the EPA and the U.S. Justice Department.

The violations stem from exceeding nitrogen oxide emissions limits at its 74,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) refinery in Sinclair and its 24,500-bpd plant in Evansville, near Casper.

The EPA also said the company failed to comply with requirements to operate and maintain a flare gas recovery system at the Sinclair refinery.

As part of the settlement, Sinclair agreed to install a selective catalytic reduction system to control nitrogen oxide emissions and upgrade the flare gas recovery system to meet sulfur dioxide emissions limits.

A company spokesman said on Monday that Sinclair "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."

In the 2008 consent decree, Sinclair agreed to pay a $2.45 million penalty and spend more than $72 million for new and upgraded pollution controls at the Wyoming refineries and a third refinery in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that Sinclair later sold.

The settlement announced Monday is subject to a 30-day period for public comments and final court approval.

(Reporting by Kristen Hays in Houston; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Matthew Lewis)