"U.S. EPA Approves Hazardous Chemicals Removal From St. Croix Refinery"

"U.S. environmental regulators on Thursday conditionally approved plans for the owners of an idled refinery in the U.S. Virgin Islands to remove chemicals that the watchdog argued present serious health consequences if accidentally released.

The idled St. Croix refinery, formerly the largest in the Western Hemisphere, was expected to boost overall supply in the Caribbean, a key transit point for petroleum shipments, but the EPA shut it after a few months of operation in May 2021 after chemical releases sickened neighboring residents.

Equipment corrosion at the refinery, formerly called Limetree Bay, presents a risk of fire, explosion or other "catastrophic" releases of hazardous substances, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said last year.

Regulators inspected the facility following an August 2022 fire within the petroleum coke conveyor loading system that burned for two weeks."

Laura Sanicola reports for Reuters February 9, 2023.

Source: Reuters, 02/10/2023