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EPA fines Hawaii oil refinery for safety, waste violations

HONOLULU — A Hawaii oil refinery has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $219,638 for chemical safety and hazardous waste violations, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said.

Par Hawaii Refining LLC violated the federal Clean Air Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act at its facilities in Kapolei on Oahu, the agency said Thursday.

Par Hawaii also agreed to implement changes to reduce the risk of further chemical accidents at a facility where agency inspectors said they found violations of prevention requirements in 2019.

The violations included process safety errors and operating procedures that were unclear and out of date, including the emergency shutdown operating procedure in a control room.

The company also must conduct sampling at a second facility to determine whether improper management of hazardous waste contaminated soil.

A 2018 federal inspection determined the facility improperly managed waste from its refinery processes. Inspectors also documented oily residue released onto an unlined asphalt pad and into nearby soil.

“We are acting to ensure that oil refining facilities reduce the risk of releases of toxic substances, and properly store, manage and dispose of hazardous wastes to protect local communities and the environment,” Amy Miller, EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Director of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, said in a statement.

The settlement requires Par Hawaii to adopt a sampling plan to determine the possibility of localized hazardous waste contamination.

Peter Boylan, Par Hawaii Director of Government and Public Affairs, said the company strives “to conduct business in a safe and environmentally protective manner.”

“While we disagree with the EPA’s assertions, these two settlements resolve this matter for the benefit of all parties, and we look forward to continuing our support of the state’s transition to its clean energy goals,” Boylan said.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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