Hess fined for pollution from New Jersey refinery

Hess Corp. agreed to pay an $850,000 civil penalty and spend more than $45 million in new pollution controls to resolve Clean Air Act violations at its Port Reading, NJ, refinery, said the US Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice.

The settlement requires new and upgraded pollution controls, more-stringent emission limits, and aggressive monitoring, leak-detection, and repair practices to reduce emissions from refinery equipment and processing units. The refinery has a processing capacity of 70,000 b/d.

Once fully implemented, the controls required by the settlement are estimated to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide by 181 tons/year and result in additional reductions of volatile organic compounds.

Government officials said this settlement marks 31 similar settlements with refineries nationwide since 2000.

Hess was accused of modifying its refinery and increasing emissions without first obtaining the proper permits and installing required pollution-control equipment.

New Jersey participated in the settlement with Hess and will receive half of the civil penalty.

The consent decree, lodged in the District of New Jersey, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court approval. Hess did not admit liability in the decree.

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