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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 1, 2003

Contact: Amy Cradic
(609) 984-1795

New Jersey Oil Refinery to Greatly Reduce Air Pollutants and Pay Fine for Past Violations:
Gloucester County to Receive New Environment Friendly Truck Stop to Curb Diesel Emissions

(03/138) TRENTON --- Representing a major clean air victory for the state of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced that Coastal Eagle Point Oil Company, Gloucester County, signed a federal consent decree to settle multiple state and federal air pollution violations that will significantly lower harmful air emissions for the future, fund a $1 million beneficial environmental project and award the state a $1.25 million fine.

In addition to compensating state residents $1.25 million for violations of the New Jersey Air Pollution Control Act, Coastal Eagle Point Oil Company paid an additional $1.25 million to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for violations of the federal Clean Air Act.

"In the past, Coastal Eagle Point Oil Company failed to comply with air pollution laws and operated without proper regard for the health of New Jersey's residents," said Commissioner Campbell. "In this settlement the company agrees to more stringent environmental safeguards that will greatly reduce air pollution above and beyond current standards and provide those living in Gloucester County better air quality."

As part of the joint consent decree between New Jersey DEP, the federal EPA and Coastal Eagle Point Oil Company, the refinery is to invest $3 to $7 million to upgrade the plant's environmental controls by 2008. The upgrades will reduce harmful air emissions, including nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxides, fine particulates and benzene, a hazardous air pollutant. The upgrades also will enhance leak detection and repair at the plant, and identify and reduce flaring incidents that result in emission releases.

In addition, Coastal Eagle Point Oil Company will pay $1 million to Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) to partially fund an environmentally beneficial project designed to eliminate diesel emissions from idling trucks at the Paulsboro Travel Center, located at Exit 18A of Interstate 295, Gloucester County.

NESCAUM will install electrical technology called IdleAire to approximately 175 parking spaces at the travel center. The first 75 electrical hookups are being funded through a grant received by New Jersey DEP and NESCAUM that originated based on a resident's suggestion at a Camden public meeting. The electrical hookups will significantly reduce the emission of ozone causing pollutants such as NOx, particulate matter and hydrocarbons by allowing trucks to plug in for utility services rather than idle their diesel engines overnight to generate power. Ozone causing air pollutants can impact the respiratory system, aggravate asthma, increase susceptibility to respiratory illnesses like pneumonia and bronchitis, and contribute to permanent lung damage.

"New Jersey's strong efforts to enforce clean air protections - in this case the New Jersey Air Pollution Control Act - have once again produced a major victory for our environment and the health of New Jersey citizens," said First Assistant Attorney General Edward M. Neafsey. "If companies break the law and degrade the quality of our air, rest assured that we will go after them for remedial action and compensation."

Over a five-year period, the New Jersey DEP issued Coastal Eagle Point Oil Company 18 Administrative Orders and Notices of Civil Administrative Penalty Assessments for multiple and ongoing air pollution violations. In 1998,1999, 2000, 2002 and 2003, the refinery repeatedly violated maximum allowable emission limits in its DEP-issued permits and failed to properly monitor emissions.

"The significant pollution reductions in this settlement agreement are the result of enforcement and persistent efforts over the past year to resolve these long-standing violations," Commissioner Campbell added. "As a result of these efforts New Jersey residents and their children will see a real improvement in air quality and benefit from lower diesel truck emissions."

Coastal Eagle Point Oil Company has 30 days after the filing of the consent decree to pay $1 million for the environmentally beneficial truck stop project, the $1.25 million civil penalty to the state of New Jersey, and the $1.25 million penalty to the United States.

There is a 30-day public comment period before the federal district court in Camden approves the consent decree.

 

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