The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continues its crackdown on air pollution by petroleum refineries, today announcing a settlement with Hovensa, owner of the second largest refinery in the United States, that requires the company to spend $700 million on new pollution controls and pay a $5.3 million fine.
The EPA and Justice Department alleged that the company made modifications to its refinery, located in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, that increased emissions without first obtaining pre-construction permits and installing required pollution control equipment. The Clean Air Act requires major sources of air pollution to obtain such permits before making changes that would result in a significant emissions increase of any pollutant.
The settlement will reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter, carbon monoxide and other pollutants that affect air quality.
It’s the 28th settlement under an EPA initiative to improve compliance among petroleum refiners and reduce air pollution since 2000.