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U.S. EPA CITES EIGHT OIL REFINERIES FOR CLEAN AIR ACT VIOLATIONS

 U.S. EPA CITES EIGHT OIL REFINERIES FOR CLEAN AIR ACT VIOLATIONS
 SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced that it is seeking a total of $739,840 in penalties in eight separate administrative actions against seven petroleum refineries in California and one in Hawaii for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act.
 The seven California facilities named by U.S. EPA for violating the new source performance standards for petroleum refineries are: World Oil Corp. (a.k.a. Sunland Refining Co.), Bakersfield; Witco Corp., Oildale; Huntway Refining Co., Wilmington; Unocal Corp., Arroyo Grande; Ultramar Inc., Long Beach; Fletcher Oil and Refining Co., Wilmington; and Mobil Petroleum Co. Inc., Torrance. The facility in Hawaii is Hawaiian Independent Refinery Inc., Ewa Beach, Oahu.
 "These enforcement actions send a clear message that the mandates of the Clean Air Act cannot be ignored," said David Howekamp, director of the air and toxics division of U.S. EPA's western regional office. "Under no circumstances will we allow companies to gain an unfair advantage over competitors that obey the law."
 Five of the eight facilities violated Clean Air Act rules requiring petroleum refineries to install and operate continuous emission monitoring systems (CEMS). CEMS are installed to measure either the concentration of hydrogen sulfide in fuel gases before they are burned in any combustion device or the amount of sulfur dioxide emitted after burning. The deadline for installing the CEMS was Oct. 2, 1991. In addition, seven of the facilities failed to submit semiannual reports to the U.S. EPA on whether any excess emissions were measured by CEMS, as required by the Clean Air Act.
 Sulfur dioxide is a gas that is produced when fossil fuels are burned. At high enough concentrations, it can adversely affect human health and vegetation. In addition, sulfur dioxide is the primary cause of acid rain, which is formed when the chemical reacts in the atmosphere to form acidic compounds. The Clean Air Act will reduce annual sulfur dioxide emissions by 10 million tons -- more than 50 percent -- by the year 2000.
 The violations and proposed penalties are as follows:
 Witco Corp. ($171,000)
 Failure to install the CEMS and failure to provide semiannual
 reports to U.S. EPA.
 World Oil Corp. ($135,500)
 Failure to install the CEMS and failure to provide semiannual
 reports to U.S. EPA.
 Hawaiian Independent Refinery Inc. ($115,018)
 Failure to install the CEMS until July 1992 and failure to provide
 semiannual reports to U.S. EPA.
 Huntway Refining Co. ($105,500)
 Failure to install the CEMS and failure to provide semiannual
 reports to U.S. EPA.
 Fletcher Oil and Refining Co. ($60,000)
 Failure to provide semiannual CEMS reports to U.S. EPA.
 Ultramar Inc. ($60,000)
 Failure to provide semiannual CEMS reports to U.S. EPA.
 Unocal Corp. ($60,000)
 Failure to provide semiannual CEMS reports to U.S. EPA.
 Mobil Petroleum Co. Inc. ($32,822)
 Failure to install the CEMS until January 1992.
 The penalties assessed by U.S. EPA take into account: 1) the economic gain received by the company by failing to comply with the law, and 2) the gravity of the violations. The gravity component reflects the duration and seriousness of the violation and the size of the business.
 A company has 30 days from receipt of a complaint in which to answer the allegations and request a hearing before an administrative law judge. A company may also meet with the U.S. EPA to discuss the alleged violations and the proposed penalty.
 -0- 10/8/92
 /CONTACT: Bill Glenn of the U.S. EPA, 415-744-1589/ CO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Witco Corp., Hawaiian Independent Refinery Inc., Huntway Refining Co., Fletcher Oil and Refining Co, Ultramar Inc., Unocal Corp., Mobil Petroleum Co. Inc. ST: California IN: SU: EXE


SG-GT -- SF010 -- 7972 10/08/92 15:01 EDT
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Date:Oct 8, 1992
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