The Sinclair Wyoming Refining Company will pay $1.6 million in penalties as part of a settlement announced Thursday by federal and state agencies.
The agreement, announced by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Justice and the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, resolves allegations that Sinclair violated state and federal air emissions limits and monitoring requirements, including those from a 2008 settlement.
The alleged violations at the Carbon County refinery include exceeding sulfur dioxide emissions limits at the flares and the sulfur recovery plant’s tail gas units, as well as failing to operate, maintain and certify requisite continuous emissions monitors. The company will install additional pollution controls as a result of the agreement.
“EPA is committed to working with our partners to ensure that the terms and conditions of enforcement agreements are met,” EPA Regional Administrator Gregory Sopkin said in the announcement. “This settlement holds Sinclair accountable for exceeding the emissions limits agreed to in a previous settlement for Clean Air Act violations and requires the company to implement additional pollution control measures to secure cleaner, healthier air for the people of Wyoming.”
Added Nancy Vehr, Wyoming DEQ air quality administrator: “As principal steward for protecting Wyoming’s air resources, the Wyoming DEQ’s efforts and coordination with EPA have resulted in a consent decree amendment that resolves DEQ’s allegations against Sinclair, and places Sinclair on a path to return its Refinery to compliance with Wyoming’s environmental laws and requirements.”
The settlement follows Sinclair’s steps to install about $20 million in pollution controls at the refinery, which included a Central Amine Facility and upgrades to the flare gas recovery system. The company must now take additional measures to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions, reduce flaring, improve continuous emissions monitoring and more efficiently operate its flare gas recovery system.
The 2008 consent decree was entered by the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming. The penalty in Thursday’s settlement was modified to incentivize Sinclair to comply with the emission limits, the EPA announcement said. The settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.
A representative for Sinclair said Thursday afternoon the company would not be able to provide comment by the end of the day.