CITGO Found Innocent Regarding Reporting Requirements
Jun 27, 2007
HOUSTON --- CITGO Petroleum Corporation announced that a verdict was rendered in CITGO’S favor in the U.S. District Court in
Counts 1 and 2 related to the reporting of benzene quantity in waste water streams during 2001 and 2002, and the jury found that CITGO was innocent of the charges made by the U.S. Department of Justice.
With regard to Counts 4 and 5, the charges relate to not having roofs on two waste water equalization tanks. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations do not require roofs on waste water equalization tanks, and in fact, the EPA has explicitly excluded equalization tanks from the regulations that require roofs. Though not required to do so, CITGO voluntarily initiated the construction of roofs on the equalization tanks in 2004.
The regulations under which CITGO was charged had never been used before in a criminal prosecution. This decision can have far reaching affects. Members of the industry must now be concerned that the self- reporting rules intended for regulatory purposes are now used in criminal prosecutions, on a selective basis, by the Justice Department.
It is important to note that the charges absolutely do not involve any releases or spills to the environment. CITGO is proud of its environmental record and is confident that the verdict on Counts 4 and 5 will be reversed on appeal. In fact, the waste water system of which the equalization tanks are a part has never had a permit violation on oil or grease since the tanks were built in 1994.
CITGO has followed EPA Regulations and will appeal the verdict on Counts 4 and 5. It is unfortunate that the Justice Department has chosen to take the unprecedented step of pursuing criminal charges on matters that are purely regulatory in nature and that are inconsistent with applicable EPA regulations.
The CITGO Corpus Christi Refinery and its employees will continue striving to maintain safe and environmentally sound operations in support of our community.
CITGO, based in
For more information visit www.citgo.com .