Hunt Refining settles federal air pollution charges

Hunt Refining and Hunt Southland Refining agreed to pay a $400,000 fine and spend more than $48.5 million for new and upgraded pollution controls at three refineries.

Nick Snow
Washington Correspondent

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 2 -- Hunt Refining Co. and Hunt Southland Refining Co. agreed to pay a $400,000 fine and spend more than $48.5 million for new and upgraded pollution controls at three refineries, the US Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency jointly announced on Sept. 28.

They said the settlement resolves alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act and is expected to reduce by more than 1,250 tons/year the harmful emissions from the company's refineries in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Sandersville and Lumberton, Miss. The plants have a combined throughput capacity of nearly 70,000 b/d.

New pollution controls to be installed under the agreement will reduce annual nitrogen oxide emissions at the refineries by 150 tons and sulfur dioxide by almost 1,100 tons when fully implemented, according to DOJ and EPA. The controls also will reduce the plants' volatile organic compound and particulate matter emissions, the federal agencies said.

Hunt also agreed to spend $475,000 on projects to benefit the environment. The company has agreed to upgrade controls to reduce VOC emissions from the Tuscaloosa refinery's wastewater emissions and to buy emergency preparedness equipment and train mutual aid responders in Vicksburg, Miss., and Choctaw County, Ala.

DOJ and EPA said Alabama and Mississippi joined in the settlement and will share equal portions of the fine with EPA. The consent decree, which was lodged in US District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final approval by the federal court.

Contact Nick Snow at nsnow@cox.net.

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