Tesoro, Par Hawaii reach $425 million settlement with U.S. over air quality violations

Reuters, July 19, 2016

U.S. oil refiners Tesoro Corp and Par Hawaii Refining reached a $425 million settlement with the United States on Monday to resolve air quality violations at six refineries in Western states, the government announced on Monday. The accord requires the companies to invest $403 million in new equipment to better control air emissions at operations in Alaska, Northern California, North Dakota, Utah, Hawaii and Washington, the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency said.Tesoro is required to pay a $10.45 million civil penalty and spend about $12 million to fund environmental projects in local communities that were affected by pollution, the government added.

"We are pleased to have reached agreement on this consent decree that allows us to fully implement the required procedures and investments to further improve our environmental performance,” said Keith Casey, Tesoro's executive vice president for operations. 

John Cruden, the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Environmental and Natural Resources Division, said the settlement requires "cutting edge technology to address global issues like climate change."

Monday's settlement addresses a variety of allegations, including leak detection, repair and flaring violations of the Clean Air Act.

Once the new technology is installed, the government expects annual emissions reductions at the six refineries to total an estimated 773 tons of sulfur dioxide, 407 tons of nitrogen oxide, 1,140 tons of volatile organic compounds, 27 tons of hazardous air pollutants, 20 tons of hydrogen sulfide and the equivalent of 47,034 tons of carbon dioxide.


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