Ergon-West Virginia, Inc. takes the lead for cleaner air

Tue., Sep 30, 2003

Newell, West Virginia – Ergon-West Virginia, Inc. today announced that it has voluntarily entered into an agreement with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (“WVDEP”) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) that will further reduce air emissions from the Newell refinery well below what current law requires to protect human health and the environment.

The agreement was reached after Ergon-West Virginia contacted EPA about a program that EPA launched with other U.S. petroleum refineries called the Petroleum Refining Initiative. Under the Initiative, U.S. refineries that voluntarily agree to participate in the program will install additional and enhanced emission control equipment to achieve voluntary reductions in overall air emissions beyond what the law requires in exchange for resolving differences in interpretations of existing regulations.

The agreement calls for Ergon-West Virginia to install air emission controls and to reduce emissions from stacks, combustion sources, wastewater systems, valves and other equipment at the refinery. As part of the agreement, Ergon-West Virginia will monitor the effectiveness of the new controls. These improvements are yet another step in Ergon-West Virginia’s ongoing process to continually improve emission controls, since the purchase of the facility in 1997 from Quaker State.

“We decided to be proactive,” said Paul Young, Vice President of Environment, Health and Safety. “Our participation in the voluntary program and the agreement to reduce air emissions is the right thing to do for the environment, the community and the company.”

Ergon-West Virginia will invest in excess of $4 million over the next 5 years for enhanced controls for air emission reductions.

“Ergon-West Virginia’s willingness to make this kind of voluntary investment demonstrates the company’s commitment to the environment and the local community,” said Paul Young. “Working cooperatively with the WVDEP and the EPA, we have developed an arrangement that benefits everyone.”

The voluntary agreement, which is not the result of an EPA investigation or any violations at the Ergon-West Virginia refinery, is made official in a Consent Decree that will be filed with the Court. As part of the agreement, Ergon-West Virginia will pay an combined assessment of $111,600 to the WDVEP and the EPA. The agreement follows the same format as a traditional settlement agreement, but is distinctly different because there are no violations or pending litigation and Ergon-West Virginia’s agreement to participate is strictly voluntary.

Ergon-West Virginia is a small independent refinery that employees 180 people. The refinery processes approximately 17,500 barrels of crude oil per day and produces paraffinic process oils and fuels.


Jim Temple
Director of Communications