Wyoming Refinery Will Pay $1.6M in Penalties; Install Pollution Controls
The Wyoming Sinclair Refinery in Rawlins will pay about $1.6 million in penalties and install additional pollution controls to resolve violations of air emissions limits and monitoring requirements, according to a news release from federal and state agencies on Thursday.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality said the settlement follows Sinclair's actions to install about $20 million in pollution controls and to do more to reduce harmful emissions of sulfur dioxide, according to the news release.
"EPA is committed to working with our partners to ensure that the terms and conditions of enforcement agreements are met," EPA Regional Administrator Gregory Sopkin said.
"This settlement holds Sinclair accountable for exceeding the emissions limits agreed to in a previous settlement for Clean Air Act violations and requires the company to implement additional pollution control measures to secure cleaner, healthier air for the people of Wyoming," Sopkin added.
The DEQ also had allegations against Sinclair, and the consent decree amendment puts the refinery on course to be compliant with Wyoming's environmental laws and requirements, DEQ Air Quality Administrator Nancy Vehr said.
The consent decree amendment resolves alleged violations of state and federal air emissions limits and monitoring requirements, including those established in a consent decree entered in the U.S. District Court in Wyoming in 2008, and the amendment filed in the court on Thursday.
The alleged violations include exceeding sulfur dioxide emissions limits at the flares and the sulfur recovery plant’s tail gas units. They also include failing to operate, maintain and certify continuous emissions monitors.
Sinclair has installed a Central Amine Facility and upgraded its flare gas recovery system to reduce emissions and advance compliance with air emissions limits at the refinery, according to the news release.
The refinery also will add measures to reduce flaring and improve monitoring operations, and complete projects to secure the efficient operation of the flare gas recovery system.
Likewise, the stipulated penalty provisions in the consent decree are being modified to provide further incentive for Sinclair to comply with emission limits.
The settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. To access the agreement, visit here.
A company spokesperson was not immediately available to comment Thursday.
For information about the EPA’s civil enforcement of the Clean Air Act, visit here.
For information about the EPA’s refinery initiative, visit here.