June 9, 2016 / 2:35 PM / 3 years ago

Marathon Petroleum, U.S. reach agreement on refinery pollution

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Marathon Petroleum Corp will spend about $334.6 million to cut pollution at refineries in five states and pay a $326,500 civil penalty, the U.S. Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday.

The agencies said Ohio-based Marathon will spend $319 million to install state-of-the-art flare gas recovery systems and $15.55 million on projects to reduce air pollution at three facilities.

The capture systems divert waste gases that would normally be burned off to power generation systems.

The EPA said the agreement will slash emissions of volatile organic compounds, sulfur dioxides and nitrogen oxides by about 1,037 tons per year.

The government said the settlement was filed on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Detroit and amends a 2012 consent decree involving the company’s flares.

Marathon said the investments began in late 2013 and will effectively be completed by the end of 2018. About $238 million of the projected investments will have occurred by the end of 2016.

Marathon is the nation’s fourth-largest refiner, with crude oil refining capacity of approximately 1.8 million barrels per calendar day in its seven-refinery system.

The EPA has done similar settlements with other refiners.

Shares of Marathon Petroleum were up 0.5 percent at $37.05 on Thursday afternoon.

Reporting by Timothy Ahmann and Terry Wade; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Matthew Lewis

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