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ExxonMobil to Pay MA $2.9M for Air Pollution Violations

ExxonMobil and two affiliates have agreed to pay the state of Massachusetts a $2.9 million civil penalty to resolve allegations that the company violated the state’s air pollution laws at its bulk gasoline terminals in Everett and Springfield. These terminals store large quantities of gasoline and other fuels before being shipped to commercial gasoline stations and other facilities.

Under the agreement, ExxonMobil also is required to improve air pollution control systems at both terminals. These upgrades will reduce emissions of gasoline vapors, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other toxic pollutants.

As part of a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) to improve air quality in one of the impacted communities, ExxonMobil is also required to contribute $200,000 to the Chelsea Collaborative to help fund the replacement of stationary diesel refrigeration units at the New England Produce Center with non-polluting electrically-driven units.

The settlement also requires ExxonMobil to make substantial renovations to the loading racks at both terminals, and replace the existing “flare” vapor combustion unit at the Springfield terminal with a modern carbon absorption vapor recovery system.

The lawsuit, filed in Suffolk Superior Court, alleges that between 1999 and 2001, ExxonMobil made changes to the vapor collection and recovery system used to control emissions of VOCs at its Everett terminal without approval from MassDEP. These changes included the removal of certain emissions controls required under the terminal’s state air permits.

ExxonMobil also failed to control VOC emissions during the degassing of a storage tank at the Everett facility in 2008, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also alleges that ExxonMobil failed at both terminals to properly control emissions of VOC’s from gasoline tank trucks during loading operations and failed to comply with emissions monitoring, repair, and reporting requirements.

In 2008, ExxonMobil was charged with a $6.1 million penalty for its violation of the terms of a 2005 court order concerning the Clean Air Act agreement. At the time, ExxonMobil was required to 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.

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