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CRRM settles federal pollution allegations at Coffeyville

Coffeyville Resources Refining & Marketing (CRRM) agreed to pay a fine of more than $970,000 and invest more than $4.25 million on new pollution controls and $6.5 million in operating costs to resolve allegations that it violated federal air pollution regulations at its Coffeyville, Kan., refinery, the US Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency jointly announced on Mar. 6.

DOJ and EPA said the division of Houston-based CVR Energy Inc. will be required, under the settlement, to install new and upgrade existing pollution controls, establish more stringent emissions limits, and implement more aggressive leak detection and repair practices.

The refiner allegedly violated federal Clean Air Act regulations by making modifications at the 115,000 b/d plant without first obtaining preconstruction permits and installing required pollution control equipment, according to DOJ and EPA.

They said that the plant’s management also allegedly violated the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act when it failed to promptly notify state and local emergency responders of hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide releases.

DOJ and EPA said once fully implemented, the pollution controls required under the settlement will reduce an estimated 200 tons/year of NOx emissions and more than 110 tons/year of SO2 emissions. It also will reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and other air pollutants, they indicated.

They said CRRM also agreed to perform a more than $1.2 million voluntary environmental project at the refinery that will lower VOC and hydrogen sulfide emissions, reduce the frequency of future acid gas flaring incidents, and conserve 15 million gal/year of water that previously would have come from the Verdigris River.

DOJ and EPA said the State of Kansas has joined in the settlement and will receive part of the fine. A consent decree, which was lodged in the US District Court for Kansas, is subject to a 30-day comment period and court approval, they noted.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.


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