Limetree Bay refinery violated Clean Air Act -EPA

By Laura Sanicola

© Reuters/ALVIN BAEZ
FILE PHOTO: The installations of the Hovensa petroleum refinery are seen in St Croix

(Reuters) -The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has notified the operators of the Limetree Bay refinery that they violated the Clean Air Act by failing to operate five sulfur dioxide monitors near the plant in St. Croix of the U.S. Virgin Islands, the agency said on Monday.


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Last week, the EPA said it was sending workers to investigate a series of refinery incidents that caused a strong odor on the island and prompted residents to feel ill.

Limetree Bay said earlier this month that the odor was due to an “operating upset,” which sent an “unusually high amount of sulfur-containing gases” to the refinery’s flare where they burned as sulfur dioxide.

“The measurement of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere is key as it helps us assess air quality, and the data are used to oversee regulated facilities to ensure that appropriate control measures are in place to reduce people’s exposure to the gas,” said EPA acting Regional Administrator Walter Mugdan in a statement.

The refiner may be liable for civil penalties and required to take actions to correct the violations, the EPA added.

(Reporting by Laura SanicolaEditing by Chris Reese and Aurora Ellis)

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