Marathon to pay emissions penalty, upgrade refinery equipment

Marathon Petroleum has agreed to pay a $460,000 civil penalty and is adding air pollution controls to its Texas City refinery and five others to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act.

Marathon, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department announced Thursday that Marathon will add controls on flares it uses to burn off waste gas, and will cap the volume of gas it sends to the flares. According to a Justice Department news release, the changes will reduce air pollution emitted by the Marathon plants by an estimated 5,400 tons per year.

“By spurring corporate ingenuity, this settlement will dramatically reduce emissions from all 22 flares at Marathon’s six refineries,” said Assistant Attorney General Ignacia Moreno of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

Findlay, Ohio-based Marathon has spent more than $2.4 million to develop more efficient flare combustion, and has spent $45 million on equipment to improve flare efficiency, the Justice Department said.

Besides Texas City, the refineries are in Detroit; Robinson, Ill.; Catlettsburg, Ky.; Garyville, La.; and Canton, Ohio.
The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court approval.