ExxonMobil will fork over some $6.1 million as a penalty for its violation of the terms of a 2005 court order concerning the Clean Air Act agreement, announced the Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
At the time, ExxonMobil was told it must perform $6.7 million-worth of environmental projects in communities around the company’s refineries and install pollution controls at six of its U.S. refineries. On top of that, Exxon paid a $7.7 million civil penalty.
But the company failed to comply with the terms at four of its refineries: two in Texas (Beaumont and Baytown), one in Torrance, CA, and one in Baton Rouge, LA.
Most of the penalties are for failure to monitor and control the sulfur content in certain fuel gas streams burned in refinery furnaces in 2006-07. The burning of sulfur-containing gases emits sulfur dioxide, which can cause serious respiratory problems. Testing in 2007 revealed that sulfur content was in excess of EPA limits.
The EPA has been working to reduce air pollution from refineries in the U.S. Some 95 refineries across 28 states (comprising 86 percent of the nation’s refining capacity) have been required to install new controls to significantly reduce emissions.
“The EPA will continue to enforce against companies that fail to comply with the terms of court-approved settlements,” asserted the agency’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.