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PHILADELPHIA - Sunoco Inc. and a Philadelphia community group have settled a lawsuit that alleged that the company violated the federal Clean Air Act at its refinery on the Schuylkill River, reported the Associated Press.
The Community/Labor Refinery Tracking Committee told AP Wednesday that Sunoco has agreed to pay as much as $630,000 to cut down pollution and improve the monitoring of emissions at the plant.
he settlement filed in federal court in Philadelphia calls for Sunoco to spend $500,000 on filtration equipment to reduce toxic emissions from flaring and up to $130,000 for the group to buy air-monitoring equipment, according to the report.
"I feel as though we've gotten some added levels of protection," Joanne Rossi, the group's president, told AP. "We will get instant readings on what the community is being exposed to."
Currently, the group -- which represents a coalition of South and Southwest Philadelphia organizations -- has to wait 10 days to get results from samples taken in 5-gallon buckets. The company also agreed to send the group copies of "root cause analysis" reports about flaring incidents at the refinery, AP reported.
Sunoco spokesman Gerald Davis told AP that the company's focus "has been and continues to be the operation of our facilities safely, reliably and with environmental integrity."
The settlement goes beyond a federal agreement Sunoco reached with environmental authorities in June requiring the company to spend $285 million on pollution-control equipment at four of five refineries over the next eight years. The agreement was part of an effort by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to improve environmental compliance among refiners, according to the report.
The community group, which sued Sunoco in April, said it was not satisfied with the agreement and continued its lawsuit. Both settlements must be approved by a federal judge before they become effective, the group's attorney told AP.