Lion Oil Civil Judicial Settlement

The U.S. Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency on March 11, 2003, agreed to a comprehensive Clean Air Act settlement with Lion Oil Company to reduce harmful air emissions from the company's El Dorado, Ark., refinery by 1,380 tons per year. The State of Arkansas has joined EPA in the settlement. The agreement addresses air pollutants-nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and particulate emissions-that can cause serious respiratory problems and exacerbate cases of childhood asthma, as well as carbon monoxide, which can be harmful to the cardiovascular system.

The settlement requires Lion Oil to spend more than $21.5 million to install state-of-the-art pollution control technology to significantly reduce emissions from a catalytic cracking unit (its largest emissions unit), heaters, boilers, wastewater vents, flares, and leaking valves throughout its refinery. With this settlement, the company will continue its operations and continue meeting the public's demand for fuel and increased production capacity. Lion Oil also will pay a $348,000 civil penalty, which the State of Arkansas will share, and spend more than $450,000 on supplemental environmental projects designed to further reduce emissions from the refinery. Under the settlement, Lion Oil will cut air emissions by using innovative control technologies, incorporating improved leak detection and repair practices, and making other emission control upgrades at the El Dorado refinery. Currently the refinery has a processing capacity of more than 58,000 barrels of oil per day. These improvements will reduce annual emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) by approximately 530 tons, sulfur dioxide (SO2) by approximately 650 tons, particulate matter (PM) by approximately 200 tons, and significantly reduce carbon monoxide (CO) emissions from process units at the El Dorado refinery.

This settlement one of multiple global agreements reached under this Administration's efforts to assure the petroleum refining industry's compliance with major provisions of the Clean Air Act. During the past few years, petroleum refiners, like Lion Oil, have voluntarily entered into global discussions with the United States. Those companies include Koch Petroleum, BP Exploration and Oil, Motiva Enterprises, Equilon Enterprises LLC, Deer Park Refining Limited Partnership, Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC, Conoco, and Navajo Refining. Together these settlements provide for a comprehensive and cooperative approach to addressing environmental problems across the industry. The settlement will be lodged with the U.S. District Court in Fort Smith, Ark., for 30 days to allow for public comment.

For additional information, contact:

Patrick W. Foley
Senior Environmental Engineer
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2242A)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20460-0001
(202) 564-7978

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