LENEXA, KAN. (NOV. 20, 2023) – The U.S. Environmental Safety Company (EPA) and U.S. Division of Justice right this moment introduced a settlement with Coffeyville Assets Refining & Advertising and marketing LLC and its affiliated corporations (CRRM) for violations of the Clear Air Act and a earlier consent decree associated to operation of its petroleum refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas.
These violations resulted in unlawful emissions of varied pollution, together with an EPA estimate of over 2,300 extra tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2), a pollutant that may make respiration tougher, from the refinery’s flares from 2015 to 2017.
The USA and the State of Kansas allege that CRRM violated quite a few provisions of a 2012 consent decree and the Clear Air Act. Underneath the settlement, CRRM will spend at the very least $1 million on a challenge to learn the general public and setting of Kansas and implement measures costing as much as $9 million to forestall future violations and redress the environmental hurt brought on by their illegal conduct. The corporate can even pay greater than $13 million in penalties to the US and Kansas.
“The settlement with Coffeyville delivers on the promise of EPA’s new local weather enforcement technique by decreasing greenhouse fuel emissions equal to the annual emissions of 10,000 automobiles,” mentioned Assistant Administrator David M. Uhlmann for EPA’s Workplace of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “As well as, the actions we’re taking alongside our state companions in Kansas will scale back dangerous air air pollution that makes respiration tougher and causes smog, acid rain, and tree and plant injury.”
“This settlement demonstrates that the US will take decisive motion to deal with Clear Air Act violations, to implement the phrases of consent decrees, and to advertise environmental justice,” mentioned Assistant Lawyer Basic Todd Kim of the Justice Division’s Atmosphere and Pure Assets Division (ENRD). “The emissions reductions achieved below this settlement will end in more healthy air for a group disproportionately affected by air air pollution, together with for residents of the close by Cherokee Nation.”
“We’re dedicated to defending individuals and households within the communities the place they reside,” mentioned EPA Area 7 Administrator Meg McCollister. “Along with the emission controls offered in the settlement, this order requires CRRM to speculate $1 million in an environmental challenge to be accepted by the State of Kansas, which can instantly profit the residents of the state.”
Since the US and Kansas started investigating CRRM’s alleged non-compliance in 2016, CRRM’s efforts to return into compliance with Clear Air Act necessities have already eradicated greater than 39,000 tons per yr of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from extreme flaring of waste fuel, equal to utilizing almost 4 million fewer gallons of gasoline per yr. As well as, EPA estimates that the flare fuel restoration system required by the consent decree lodged right this moment will additional scale back yearly emissions of greenhouse gases by 12,888 tons, equal to utilizing 1.3 million fewer gallons of gasoline yearly, and also will scale back yearly emissions of SO2 by 1.7 tons and nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 9.57 tons. NOx is a major contributor to the formation of smog.
In 2020, the US and Kansas sought greater than $6.8 million in stipulated penalties from CRRM due to the corporate’s alleged violations of the 2012 consent decree, primarily concerning its failure to correctly monitor SO2 emissions from flaring. Numerous refinery processes result in flaring or burning of waste gases which emit numerous pollution into the environment, together with carbon dioxide, methane, and SO2. The U.S. District Court docket for the District of Kansas held CRRM accountable for the stipulated penalties and the corporate appealed the choice.
Additionally in 2020, the US and Kansas alleged further Clear Air Act violations on the refinery, leading to extra emissions of SO2 in a group already disproportionately impacted by air air pollution. Publicity to SO2 can hurt respiration and significantly impacts these with bronchial asthma, youngsters, and older adults. Excessive concentrations of SO2 can result in the formation of different sulfur oxides and finally small particles, which might contribute to particulate matter air pollution, acid rain, and tree and plant injury.
The consent decree, which the US filed right this moment, resolves the stipulated penalties demand and violations recognized within the grievance. CRRM should:
- Pay over $6.8 million in stipulated penalties awarded by the courtroom and $183,000 in stipulated penalties for extra violations of the 2012 consent decree.
- Pay over $6.2 million in further penalties for Clear Air Act violations alleged within the grievance.
- Spend at the very least $1 million on an environmentally helpful challenge to be accepted by the State of Kansas.
- Undertake numerous measures to facilitate future compliance with the Clear Air Act.
- Scale back NOx emissions from refinery heaters.
- Construct an roughly $9 million flare fuel restoration system to cut back the refinery’s flaring.
EPA Area 7, EPA’s Workplace of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, and the Kansas Division of Well being and Atmosphere investigated the case. The Division of Justice’s ENRD Environmental Enforcement Part and the State of Kansas prosecuted the case.
The consent decree, lodged within the U.S. District Court docket for the District of Kansas, is topic to a 30-day public remark interval and ultimate courtroom approval. The consent decree will probably be out there for viewing online.
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