Ergon Refining, Inc. takes the lead for cleaner air

Tue., Sep 30, 2003

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

The agreement was reached after Ergon Refining 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 greater reductions in overall air emissions in exchange for resolving differences in interpretations of existing regulations.

The agreement calls for Ergon Refining to install air emissions controls and reduce emissions from stacks, combustion sources, wastewater systems, valves and other equipment at the refinery. As part of the agreement, Ergon Refining will monitor the effectiveness of the emission reduction programs.

“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 significantly reduce air emissions is the right thing to do for the environment, the community and the company.”

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

“Ergon Refining’s willingness to make this kind of a voluntary investment demonstrates the company’s commitment,” said Paul Young. “Working cooperatively with the MDEQ 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 refinery, is made official in a Consent Decree that will be filed with the Court. As part of the agreement, Ergon Refining will pay a combined assessment of $138,000 to the MDEQ and 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 Refining’s agreement to participate is strictly voluntary.

Ergon Refining is a small independent refinery that employees 180 people. The refinery processes approximately 23,000 barrels of crude oil per day and produces naphthenic process oils and asphalt.


Jim Temple
Director of Communications