Caribbean refinery must install 18 air monitors to resume operating

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is requiring that Limetree Bay refinery install 18 air monitors in St. Croix after ordering the plant to halt operations last month, the agency said.

The EPA ordered an emergency halt to refinery operations in May after a series of incidents polluted the air and water supply of the nearby community.

Limetree must develop a plan within 15 days to install nine hydrogen sulfide and nine sulfur dioxide monitors on St. Croix, the agency said.

The EPA said five of the sulfur dioxide monitors are already required by its pre-existing permit, though Limetree has previously said that requirement does not apply.

"Addressing environmental justice issues is a priority for EPA," said EPA acting Regional Administrator Walter Mugdan in a statement.

He added that the agency recognizes the economic importance of this business on St. Croix.

"EPA stands ready to assist Limetree in understanding its compliance obligations," Mugdan said.

Limetree could not immediately be reached for comment. (Reporting by Laura Sanicola in New York Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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