Sinclair settles federal pollution charges for Wyoming refineries

Two Sinclair Oil Corp. refineries in Wyoming agreed to pay more than $3.8 million in fines and spend $10.5 million for additional equipment and other projects to resolve alleged violations of a 2008 consent decree at the facilities, the US Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency jointly announced on Aug. 20.

DOJ and EPA said the settlement will require the refineries at Sinclair and Casper, Wyo., to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by 24 tons/year, sulfur dioxide by 385 tons/year, and particulate matter by 59 tons/year.

The federal entities said the privately held company allegedly exceeded nitrogen oxide emissions at the plants and did not install, operate, and maintain a flare gas recovery system at the 80,000-b/d refinery at Sinclair. The settlement requires installation of a selective catalytic reduction system to address the first problem and upgrading the flare gas recovery system to address the second.

Sinclair Oil also will complete a project to provide road paving at the 24,500-b/d Casper refinery that will cut particulate matter emissions by another 59 tons/year and reduce fuel oil burned at the plant from the existing 188 tons/year limit to no more than 95 tons/year, they added.

The proposed settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval, DOJ and EPA said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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