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Limetree Bay Refining Gets hit by EPA’s Violation Notice

Following two major incidents, EPA issued a “notice of violation” to Limetree Bay Refining. The incidents spread noxious gases and a chemical-filled vapour cloud over surrounding communities in the US Virgin Islands. The notification was issued by the EPA on Monday because Limetree Bay Refining failed to operate five monitoring stations to track air quality around its facility, which is a major source of harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition, the organisation neglected to maintain a meteorological tower. In a statement by the agency, it mentioned, “A major source of air pollution, such as Limetree Bay, is subject to controls under its air permits. Limetree Bay Refining may be liable for civil penalties and required to take actions to correct the violations.” The corporation has 30 days to request a video conference to resolve the notice of infringement or appeal it. In a statement released Monday, the company refuted the EPA’s claims.

When Hovensa, the plant’s previous owner, shut down in 2012 due to financial difficulties and a multimillion-dollar settlement with the EPA over environmental violations, it stopped running five sulphur dioxide monitoring stations. According to the note, if Hovensa restarted, it promised to reactivate the monitors.

The EPA was notified by a Limetree employee on Feb. 16 — more than two weeks after the plant reopened — that the air monitors were not being used, according to the notice. Sulfur dioxide can damage the human respiratory system if exposed to high levels for a short period of time. Asthmatics, especially children, are particularly vulnerable.

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