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Federal Settlement to Reduce Air Pollution at Hawaii Refinery

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice today announced a settlement with Par Hawaii Refining for alleged Clean Air Act violations at its Kapolei Refinery, in Kapolei, Hawaii, as part of a larger $425 million settlement covering six refineries.

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Par Hawaii will spend an estimated $47 million to install and operate pollution control equipment at the Kapolei Refinery, formerly owned by the Tesoro Corp.

“EPA remains committed to ensuring companies take responsibility for protecting public health and the environment,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “With this agreement, Par Hawaii will not only reduce harmful emissions from refinery leaks and flares, but will also reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by nearly 240 tons per year from the Kapolei refinery heaters and boilers.”

Under the settlement, Par Hawaii and subsidiaries of Tesoro Corp. will spend about $403 million to install and operate pollution control equipment at refineries in Alaska, California, Hawaii, North Dakota, Utah, and Washington State. Tesoro will also pay a civil penalty of $10.45 million, of which the United States will receive $8.05 million. Co-plaintiffs Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington State’s Northwest Clean Air Agency will split the remainder, receiving $1.3 million, $850,000, and $250,000, respectively. Tesoro will also spend about $12.2 million to fund projects that will improve public health in local communities previously impacted by pollution.

Once implemented, the pollution controls required by the settlement will reduce annual emissions at the six refineries by an estimated 773 tons of sulfur dioxide, 407 tons of nitrogen oxides, 1,140 tons of volatile organic compounds, 27 tons of hazardous air pollutants, 20 tons of hydrogen sulfide and the equivalent of 47,034 tons of carbon dioxide.

Tesoro Corp., is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas and its subsidiaries, Tesoro Alaska Company LLC, Tesoro Logistics L.P., and Tesoro Refining & Marketing Company LLC operate five of the refineries covered by this settlement. Par Pacific Holdings, Inc., formerly known as Par Petroleum Corp. and a parent corporation of Par Hawaii Refining, purchased the Kapolei, Hawaii refinery from Tesoro in 2013.

The penalty is due 30 days after the consent decree is entered by the court. There will be a 30 day public comment period on the consent decree lodged today. Information on how to comment on the consent decree is available on the Department of Justice’s website.

For more information on the settlement or to read the consent decree, go to https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/tesoro-and-par-clean-air-act-settlement

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