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Oil Giants Reach $425 Million Air Pollution Settlement

Tesoro Martinez Calif refinerySubsidiaries of oil refiners Tesoro and Par Hawaii Refining have agreed to pay $425 million to resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations and reduce air pollution at six refineries.

Under the settlement with the EPA and the US Department of Justice, the two companies will spend about $403 million to install and operate pollution control equipment, and Tesoro will spend about $12 million to fund environmental projects in local communities previously impacted by pollution. Tesoro will also pay a $10.45 million civil penalty.

The agencies say the settlement, announced yesterday, resolves ongoing Clean Air Act violations at refineries in Kenai, Alaska; Martinez, California; Kapolei, Hawaii; Mandan, North Dakota; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Anacortes, Washington.

Once the companies install the pollution controls the EPA expects annual emissions reductions at the six refineries will total an estimated 773 tons of sulfur dioxide, 407 tons of nitrogen oxides, 1,140 tons of volatile organic compounds, 27 tons of hazardous air pollutants, 20 tons of hydrogen sulfide and the equivalent of 47,034 tons of carbon dioxide.

The settlement will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from flaring at the subject refineries by over 60 percent. It follows a proposal to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations by limiting flaring.

Last year the California Air Resources Board fined Tesoro a little over $1 million in penalties for violating the state’s reformulated gasoline regulations.

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