Thursday, October 13, 2005

Exxon cleanup to control pollution

Oil giant ExxonMobil is doing its part to control air pollution.

Exxon Mobil Corp. will spend an estimated $571 million for pollution controls at seven oil refineries, including its Torrance plant, in a settlement over alleged violations of clean air laws, the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday.

The world's largest publicly traded oil company also will pay fines totaling $8.7 million and spend $9.7 million to retrofit city buses, restore coastal habitat in Louisiana and sponsor other environmental projects around the refineries. The settlement aims to reduce annual emissions of toxins that can cause respiratory problems and worsen cases of childhood asthma, the federal agencies said.

The refineries covered in two consent decrees filed in federal courts in Chicago and Lafayette, La., represent 11% of the nation's refining capacity.

Even if it is not entirely voluntary, the move is a step in the right direction.