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EPA reaches agreement with CITGO on clean-air violations

Release Date: 10/26/2005
Contact Information:

CONTACT: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254

For Immediate Release
No. 05-OPA224

CHICAGO (Oct. 26, 2005) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has reached an agreement with CITGO Petroleum Corp. on alleged clean-air violations at the company's petroleum refinery, 135th Street and New Avenue, Lemont, Ill.

CITGO has agreed to complete an environmental project and to pay a $22,750 penalty. For its environmental project, CITGO will provide $80,000 to build a portion of the I&M Canal Path that will be used for recreational purposes such as hiking, bicycling, fishing and canoeing.

The agreement resolves EPA allegations that CITGO operated its catalytic cracking unit for 18 days last March while emission control equipment was shut down for repairs. CITGO estimates that 31.78 tons of excess particulate emissions (smoke, dust, ash) were released. EPA worked with Illinois EPA to develop and resolve this enforcement action.

Inhaling high concentrations of particulates can affect children, the elderly and people with heart and lung diseases the most.