COMMERCE CITY, Colorado (CBS4) – Suncor Energy announced the results of an independent third party emissions investigation at its Commerce City refinery on Monday. The Kearney-led investigation was part of a $ 9 million settlement agreement between Suncor and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to resolve more than 100 pollution violations.
The final report concluded that the Commerce City refinery is adequately funded and designed to meet environmental permits in stationary operations. Suncor released an improvement plan on Monday that includes additional upgrades to its automatic shutdown systems for gasoline manufacturers. According to official data, these upgrades will significantly reduce the potential for catalyst release.
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“We are continuing our journey to improve our performance and communications so we can begin to regain the trust of the community. As part of our 2020 settlement agreement with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, we heard input from our neighbors and learned a lot about their need to provide more timely, transparent, and accessible information, ”said Donald Austin, Commerce City vice president of the refinery. “We’ve also heard that we can better explain our operations and the improvements we make to minimize our environmental impact and keep our employees and the community safe.”
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In 2020 Suncor upgraded the automatic shutdown system in Plant 2. Officials plan to upgrade the same system in Plant 1 by the end of June. The company also plans to have a programmable logic controller by 2023, as well as improved instruments, automated shut-off valves, and new hydraulic pressure units to make the shutdown process more reliable.
The total cost of implementing the improvements is $ 12 million, which exceeds Suncor’s initial $ 5 million commitment under the state settlement. According to official figures, upgrades for Plant 2 alone will cost $ 10 million.
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Click here to learn more about Suncor’s investigation and improvement plan.