Citgo Faces Fines for Refinery Pollution

Citgo Petroleum Co. said it\r\nfaces "significant penalties" and upgrade costs for alleged air\r\npollution violations at three of its refineries.

Citgo Petroleum Co., a leading U.S. gasoline refiner, said it faces "significant penalties" and upgrade costs for alleged air pollution violations at three of its refineries.

In January, EPA cited the company for violations of the Clean Air Act at its refineries in Lake Charles, La., Corpus Christi, Texas, and Lemont, Ill.

EPA said the Lemont and Lake Charles refineries violated permitting rules for the installation and modification of refining equipment, and said the Corpus Christi plant did not meet leak detection and repair requirements.

"If Citgo were to be found to have violated the provisions, it could be subject to possible significant penalties and capital expenditures," the company said in its quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Citgo said it has responded to the notice of violations and awaits a meeting with EPA.

In addition, Citgo said it is contesting previous allegations by EPA that it is among the polluters of the Calcasieu Estuary, located near the Lake Charles refinery.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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