ExxonMobil has agreed to reduce air pollution at refinery near Chicago

ExxonMobil has reached an agreement with U.S. and Illinois regulators to reduce air pollution at its refinery near Chicago in Joliet, Illinois, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.

The consent decree, which will require ExxonMobil to make operational changes to its sulfur recovery plant to reduce emissions, marks yet another sign that the Biden administration will be flexing its muscles in an effort to crack down on big polluters.

It comes less than a month after the Environmental Protection Agency revoked an expansion permit for the Limetree Bay oil refinery in the Virgin Islands, amid concerns about the facility’s impact on air pollution.

Under the settlement with ExxonMobil, the company has agreed to pay more than $1.5 million in penalties, a little over $1 million of which will go to the federal government. The remainder will be paid to Illinois.

It will also undertake an estimated $10 million of improvements to reduce air emissions, the Justice Department said.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch and Jan Wolfe; additional reporting by Valerie Volcovici and Susan Heavey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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