EPA Cites CITGO for Air Pollution

EPA has cited CITGO Petroleum Corp. for alleged\r\nviolations of federal clean-air regulations at the company's\r\npetroleum refinery, in Lemont, Ill.

EPA Region 5 has cited CITGO Petroleum Corp. for alleged violations of federal clean-air regulations at the company''s petroleum refinery, in Lemont, Ill.

The EPA citation alleges CITGO made major modifications to the refinery''s sulfur recovery plant that resulted in significant increases in sulfur dioxide emissions without doing required performance testing and without implementing a continuous monitoring system for all emission points.

In addition, CITGO failed to submit excess emissions reports and failed to show compliance with emission limitations.

This is a preliminary finding of violations, according to EPA. To resolve the violations, EPA may issue a compliance order, assess an administrative penalty or bring suit against the company.

The company has 30 days from receipt of the notice to request a meeting with EPA to discuss the allegations and how to resolve them.

"EPA''s mission is to protect public health and the environment," said Cheryl Newton, acting director of the regional Air and Radiation Division. "We will take whatever steps are needed to ensure compliance with the Clean Air Act."

Exposure to sulfur dioxide can impair breathing, aggravate existing respiratory diseases like bronchitis and reduce the ability of the lungs to clear foreign particles. In addition, sulfur dioxide causes acid rain.

by Virginia Foran

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