DENVER (KDVR) — Suncor will pay fines and buy electric lawn equipment for the public for producing noncompliant fuel, including 32 million gallons with too much cancer-causing benzene, according to federal regulators.
The Environmental Protection Agency said some of the fuel produced at Suncor’s refineries in Commerce City was noncompliant and resulted in hazardous air pollution.
“This settlement demonstrates that EPA will hold refineries accountable when the fuel they produce fails to meet legal requirements,” said David M. Uhlmann, assistant administrator of the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, in a statement. “This settlement and the supplemental environmental project that Suncor agreed to include will provide better air quality for residents affected by Suncor’s misconduct.”
The incidents are alleged violations of the Clean Air Act, but as part of the settlement, Suncor agreed to the facts but neither admitted nor denied it violated the law. The case involves 32 million gallons of high-benzene fuel produced in 2021 and over 1 million gallons of volatile summer gasoline in June 2022.
The EPA said Suncor notified regulators about the violations.
Suncor to buy lawn equipment for the public
Suncor will pay a $160,660 penalty and spend at least $600,000 on electric lawn and garden equipment, which will be distributed to residents, schools and local governments in the refinery area. Suncor will also scrap whatever equipment is traded in.
This is the latest EPA settlement with Suncor in recent weeks. In August, the EPA announced a settlement in a 2019 incident, when the refinery rained an ash-like substance on the nearby community.
In that case, Suncor will pay $60,000 in civil penalties and spend over $240,000 on emergency response equipment for the South Adams County Fire Department, with the aim of improving its ability to respond to chemical accidents.