Chevron to pay fine, help buy natural gas school buses in federal settlement

Published: Wednesday, July 31 2013 6:40 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Chevron has agreed to pay a six-figure fine and help a local school district buy natural gas buses as part of a federal settlement for alleged air quality violations.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Utah Division of Air Quality filed the agreement with the oil company in U.S. District Court on Wednesday. It still must be approved by a judge.

Under terms of the settlement, Chevron Products Co., which operates a petroleum refinery at 2351 N. 1100 West, would pay a $384,000 fine and overhaul and install pollution controls on three refinery engines to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 50 tons a year.

Chevron would pay Jordan School District $100,000 toward the cost of four natural gas buses rather than new diesel-fueled buses as part of the settlement.

The alleged violations came after a state and federal inspection found Chevron made changes to equipment that increased pollution. The EPA issued the company a notice of violation in 2008.

“It is critical that companies conduct business responsibly and obtain the proper permits before making infrastructure changes that increase emissions of air pollutants,” said Mike Gaydosh, director of EPA’s enforcement program in Denver.

Nitrogen oxide contributes to ground-level ozone, acid rain and destruction of ecosystems, and can also irritate the lungs and decrease resistance to respiratory illnesses.

— Dennis Romboy

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