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    Refiners to Slash Emissions

    Three companies reach agreement with government in five states.


    WASHINGTON -- Three U.S.-based refiners reached separate agreements with the federal government, which are expected to cut emissions at seven refineries by more than 10,000 tons per year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced.

    The agreements settle air pollution allegations against the three refining companies and require more than $1.4 billion in new pollution controls, according to the Environmental News Network.

    Conoco Inc., which supplies more than 5,000 branded convenience stores, will spend an estimated $95 million to $110 million to install the best available technology to control emissions from stacks, wastewater vents, leaking valves and flares throughout its refineries, the report said.

    Under a separate consent decree, Navajo Refining Co., a subsidiary of Holly Corp., and Montana Refining Co. will spend an estimated $16 million to $21 million on similar projects.

    These affected refineries make up more than 3.5 percent of the total refining capacity in the United States.

    The agreement with Conoco will affect refineries located in Lake Charles, La.; Ponca City, Okla.; Commerce City, Colo.; and Billings, Mont. Conoco will also pay a $1.5 million civil penalty under the Clean Air Act and spend about $5 million on environmental projects in communities around the company's refineries. The states of Louisiana, Montana, and Oklahoma will share in the cash penalty.

    The agreement with Navajo and Montana Refining will affect refineries located in Artesia, N.M.; Lovington, N.M.; and Great Falls, Mont. Navajo and Montana Refining will pay a $750,000 civil penalty and spend about $1.5 million on environmentally beneficial projects. The states of New Mexico and Montana will share in the cash penalty.

    The EPA reached similar agreements over the past year with Motiva Enterprises, Equilon Enterprises, Deer Park Refining Limited Partnership, Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC, Koch Petroleum Group, BP, Amoco, and Atlantic Richfield.

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