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Hess to spend $46 million to settle air pollution allegations

Allegations filed against Hess Corp. by the Department of Justice and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the company increased harmful emissions has been resolved. Hess had been accused of violating the Clean Air Act by making unauthorized modifications to its petroleum refinery in Port Reading, New Jersey.

The energy company has agreed to spend more than $45 million in new pollution controls and will pay an additional $850,000 in civil penalties.

“This agreement will improve air quality for New Jersey residents by requiring Hess to install advanced pollution control and monitoring technology and adopt more stringent emission limits,” Ignacia Moreno, the head of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources division, said in a statement.

The new controls are estimated to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 181 tons a year. High levels of these pollutants have a significant impact on the health and well-being of residents and increase smog levels. Concerned homeowners can invest in a home air purifier to reduce exposure, which can exasperate respiratory conditions or increase a person’s risk of stroke or heart attack.