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Published: Tuesday, 10/3/2006

Sunoco gets OK for $200 million project

Sunoco Inc. received state environmental permits yesterday that allow $200 million worth of work at its refinery along the East Toledo-Oregon border.

Olivia Summons, Sunoco spokesman, said the Philadelphia-based company was pleased by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency's decision to issue a permit for installing more pollution controls and expanding the refinery.

The tighter controls stem from an agreement Sunoco reached with the U.S. Department of Justice in June, 2005, to settle Clean Air Act violations dating to 1998 at the company's four refineries. The others are in Philadelphia, Marcus Hook, Pa., and Tulsa, Okla.

An Ohio EPA spokesman said there were no changes from a preliminary version of the permit that was discussed at an Aug. 29 hearing in Oregon.

The refinery is required to scale back on emissions of two of its largest pollutants, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, by 94 percent and 51 percent, respectively.

The permit allows for increases of 35 percent and 6 percent, respectively, of carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds so that the plant can produce more refinery products. Emissions of particles 10 microns or larger will also be allowed to increase 29 percent.

Sunoco plans to have the controls installed and the expansion complete by mid-2008, 18 months ahead of its earlier projected timetable.

The Justice Department required the controls as part of a $700 million package involving 14 refineries in six states, one of the largest ever negotiated by the government. Sunoco and two other companies were defendants.

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