Sinclair Oil to Improve Pollution Controls
Sinclair Oil Corp.
will pay a $2.45-million civil penalty and spend more than $72 million
for new and upgraded pollution controls to reduce more than 11 million
pounds of harmful emissions annually from the company's three
refineries, the Justice Department and U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency announced January 16.
resolves alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at the company's
facilities in Casper and Sinclair, Wyo., and in Tulsa, Okla.
vigorous enforcement of environmental laws shows polluters that they
need to act responsibly," said Granta Nakayama, assistant administrator
for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "Our fellow
citizens in Wyoming and Oklahoma will breathe cleaner air thanks to
"The emissions reductions required by this settlement will lead to
cleaner air and significant environmental and public health benefits
for the communities in Wyoming and Oklahoma," said Ronald J. Tenpas,
assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Environment and
Natural Resources Division. "The department remains committed to
working with EPA and states to bring industries such as the refining
industry into compliance with the nation's environmental laws."
The agreement requires new pollution controls to be installed that will
reduce annual emissions of nitrogen oxide by approximately 1,100 tons
per year and sulfur dioxide by almost 4,600 tons per year when fully
implemented. The new controls also will result in additional reductions
of volatile organic compounds and particulate matter from each of the
refineries. Volatile organic compounds and sulfur dioxide can
contribute to respiratory disorders such as asthma and reduced lung
capacity. They also can cause damage to ecosystems and reduce
visibility. The three refineries covered by the settlement have the
capacity to produce nearly 160,000 barrels of oil per day.
In addition, Sinclair will spend $150,000 on supplemental environmental
projects in Oklahoma, including $100,000 to install new controls to
reduce emissions of particulate matter from the city of Tulsa's fleet
of municipal trash trucks.
With the Sinclair agreement, 95 refineries located in 28 states,
representing over 86 percent of the nation's refining capacity, are
required to install new controls to significantly reduce emissions. The
first of EPA's comprehensive refinery settlements was reached in 2000.
states of Oklahoma and Wyoming have also joined in today's consent
decree and will share portions of the civil penalty with EPA.
The consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the District
of Wyoming, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval
by the federal court.