US refiner to install $18m pollution controls to settle EPA claim

28 February 2013 21:59  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US refiner CountryMark announced on Thursday it has agreed to invest more than $18m (€14m) in pollution controls to resolve Clean Air Act violations at its Mount Vernon facility in Indiana.

CountryMark will also pay a $167,000 civil penalty and perform $180,000 in environmental projects to settle claims made by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

According to the US Department of Justice (DOJ), CountryMark did not obtain pre-construction permits and install required pollution control equipment before it made modifications to its 27,100 bbl/day refinery.

“Under the settlement, CountryMark will implement new practices and install innovative, cutting-edge pollution controls at its Indiana refinery,” Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, said .

“These innovative controls include ensuring that pollution control devices, such as flares, are operated properly to minimise pollution emitted into the air and to improve their overall efficiency.”

CountryMark said it will update grandfathered permits at the facility, which will enhance its leak-detection and repair practices, and will implement programmes to reduce emissions.

The company will also adopt new strategies to ensure its benzene management complies with the Clean Air Act.

CEO Charlie Smith said: “I have a great deal of faith that CountryMark will continue to find unique and innovative solutions to reduce our environmental footprint, while continuing to fulfill our mission of providing our customers with American-made fuels 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."

($1 = €0.76)

By: Tracy Dang
+1 713 525 2653

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