Kansas refinery to pay over USD23M to settle Clean Air Act violations

(MENAFN) A Kansas refinery, Coffeyville Resources Refining and Marketing (CRRM), has agreed to pay more than USD23 million to settle violations of the federal Clean Air Act and breaches of a 2012 settlement related to previous pollution issues, as announced by the U.S. Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday. The federal agencies reported that CRRM, and its affiliated companies, engaged in illegal emissions from 2015 to 2017, leading to an estimated 2,300 excess tons (2,000 metric tons) of sulfur dioxide from its oil refinery in Coffeyville, southeastern Kansas.

Despite the violations, CRRM's subsequent efforts to comply with federal requirements, initiated during the investigation, have resulted in the elimination of over 39,000 tons (35,000 metric tons) per year of carbon dioxide emissions, contributing to climate change mitigation. The reduction is said to be equivalent to using nearly 4 million fewer gallons of gasoline annually, as stated in a joint news release by the EPA and the Justice Department.

Additionally, the settlement, known as a consent decree, mandates the implementation of a waste gas recovery system, which the EPA estimates will further reduce yearly emissions of greenhouse gases by almost 13,000 tons (12,000 metric tons). This reduction is equivalent to using 1.3 million fewer gallons of gasoline annually, and it will also result in decreased emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, both of which have adverse effects on air quality.

Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim highlighted the positive impact of the settlement on the affected community, stating, "The emissions reductions achieved under this settlement will result in healthier air for a community disproportionately affected by air pollution."

CRRM has not responded to an immediate request for comment. The agreement also stipulates that the company must allocate at least USD1 million for an environmentally beneficial project, subject to state approval. The consent decree is currently open for a 30-day public comment period and awaits final court approval.



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