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    Valero Refinery Expansion on Track

    Agreement reached with environmental organizations in California.

    SAN FRANCISCO -- Valero Energy Corp. said on Thursday it had reached an agreement with environmental organizations that led them to drop their opposition to a planned expansion of the company's San Francisco Bay area refinery.

    Valero said it agreed to use wastewater for refinery operations, increase air monitoring and install a scrubber to reduce air-pollution emissions, according to Reuters.

    The accord, which headed off an attempt by environmental groups to halt the project at the Benicia, Calif., city council, still must be approved by the company's board of directors.

    The planned expansion will raise throughput at the 180,000-barrel-per-day Benicia refinery by 10 percent and enable the plant to process Latin American sour crude oil in addition to sweet crude from the Alaska North Slope, Valero has said.

    Work on the project was expected to begin next year.

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