The Hunt Refining Co. and Hunt Southland Refining Co. have agreed to pay a $400,000 civil penalty and spend more than $48.5 million for new and upgraded pollution controls at three refineries, the Justice Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced. The settlement resolves alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and is expected to reduce more than 1,250 tons of harmful emissions annually from the company’s refineries in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Sandersville and Lumberton, Miss.The states of Alabama and Mississippi have also joined in today’s consent decree and will share portions of the civil penalty with EPA.
The agreement requires new pollution controls to be installed that will reduce annual emissions of nitrogen oxide by approximately 150 tons per year and sulfur dioxide by almost 1,100 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. The three refineries covered by today’s settlement have the capacity to produce nearly 70,000 barrels of oil per day.
In addition, Hunt will spend $475,000 on projects to benefit the community and environment. Hunt has agreed to upgrade controls to reduce volatile organic compound emissions from the wastewater systems at the Tuscaloosa refinery and will also buy emergency preparedness equipment and train mutual aid responders in Vicksburg, Miss. and Choctaw County, Ala.
The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the federal court.