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CPA cites BP for alleged benzene violations at Indiana refinery

Nick Snow
Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, June 3 -- The US Environmental Protection Agency has cited BP Products North America Inc. on June 2 for allegedly violating federal air pollution regulations at its Whiting, Ind., refinery over a 5-year period.

EPA's Region 5 office in Chicago alleged that the refiner failed to manager and treat benzene waste from the plant during 2003-08 as required by the Clean Air Act's national emission standards for hazardous air pollutants.

It said that the facility's 2008 report showed that benzene waste was almost 16 times the allowed amount.

The refinery, which was initially established in 1889, is now the third-largest in the US and the biggest outside the Gulf Coast, with more than 400,000 b/d of throughput capacity, according to information on BP America Inc.'s web site.

EPA emphasized that these are preliminary findings of violations. It said, to resolve them it may issue a compliance order, assess an administrative penalty, or sue the company in federal court. BP has 30 days from receiving the notice to meet with the agency to discuss resolve the allegations, the federal environmental regulator said.

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