Limetree Bay Terminals and Limetree Bay Refining, LLC
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
This page is no longer being updated as of March 22, 2022. For the latest information and new key documents, please visit www.epa.gov/vi/st-croix-refinery.
The West Indies Petroleum Limited, and Port Hamilton Refining and Transportation, LLLP (jointly WIPL/PHRT) emerged as the winning bidder for the Limetree Bay refinery from an auction held in bankruptcy court on December 21, 2021. EPA is engaged in detail with these parties regarding environmental compliance, regulatory and permitting issues prior to the start-up of any operations at the refinery. EPA is committed to ensuring that the operation of the refinery complies with the law and does not pose any public health or environmental threats to the nearby communities.
On March 2, 2022, The Department of Justice and EPA transmitted two letters to WIPL/PHRT, summarizing a number of requirements that have to be met before restart of the refinery.
- EPA's March 2, 2022, Letter Addressing Questions Regarding Refinery Restart (pdf)
EPA continues its work to protect the community near the Limetree Bay Refinery. EPA has taken numerous enforcement actions, set up a community hotline and has monitored the air near the Limetree Bay refinery for sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide.
On July 31, 2021, Limetree Bay Refining, LLC (Limetree Bay) successfully completed Phase 1 of the long-term shutdown, which included a flare pilot light test burn. The second phase of the long-term shutdown, Phase 2, will begin Friday, August 27, 2021.
Limetree Bay’s Phase 1 and Phase 2 Plans and Phase 1 Timeline are provided below. Many of the attachments to the summary contain information claimed to be confidential business information and cannot be shared at this time.
- Limetree Bay Phase 1 Plan (pdf)
- Limetree Bay Phase 1 Timeline (pdf)
- EPA's August 23 Pending Approval Letter to Limetree (pdf) and EPA's August 26 Final Approval Email (pdf)
- Limetree Bay Phase 2 Plan Summary (pdf)
- Limetree Bay Phase 2 Plan Addendum (pdf)
For more information on EPA's monitoring, visit https://www.epa.gov/vi/monitoring-air-near-limetree-bay
On July 12, 2021, the Department of Justice filed a complaint (pdf) and stipulation (pdf) in federal court in which, among other things, Limetree Bay committed that it will not initiate hydrocarbon purging activities without EPA’s prior approval. In the stipulation, the company has also agreed to conduct air monitoring during those hydrocarbon purging activities. EPA also plans to conduct some of its own monitoring in the beginning of that hydrocarbon purging process to confirm that Limetree Bay’s monitoring is working properly.
- Department of Justice July 12 Press Release (pdf)
- Stipulation Exhibit 1 (pdf)
- Stipulation Exhibit 2 (pdf)
The Limetree Bay Terminals and Limetree Bay Refining facility is a complex, integrated petroleum refinery, consisting of refinery process units and various supporting operations including sulfur recovery plants, steam and electric power generation via boilers and gas turbine cogeneration units, wastewater treatment, and a marine terminal.
On June 24, 2021, EPA ordered Limetree Bay to pause all operations at its St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands refinery following multiple air emissions incidents, due to the imminent and substantial endangerment to public health or welfare of the environmental posed by continued refinery operation. This order was augmented and extended by the compliant and stipulation filed on July 12, 2021.
- EPA’s May 14 Clean Air Action Section 303 Order
- EPA’s May 14 Transmittal Letter for the Clean Air Act Section 303 Order
- Limetree Bay’s May 17 Response Letter
- EPA's June 24 Letter to Limetree Bay regarding statements made in its June 21 press release (pdf)
On April 30 and June 16, EPA issued notices of violation to Limetree Bay Terminals, LLC and Limetree Bay Refining, LLC for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act for failing to operate five sulfur dioxide (SO2) monitors in the surrounding communities of Christiansted on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the associated weather tower on the facility grounds.
- Limetree Bay Terminals, LLC Notice of Violation – April 30, 2021 (PDF)
- Limetree Bay Refining, LLC Notice of Violation - June 16, 2021 (pdf)
On April 1 and April 30, 2021, EPA issued letters under Section 114 of the CAA requesting information regarding the startup of certain process units, the Feb. 4, 2021 flaring event, Title V reporting, other accidental air releases, ambient SO2 monitoring, and maintenance of certain boilers and process heaters. On June 16, EPA issued a letter under Section 114 of the Clean Air Act directing Limetree to develop and submit within 15 days a plan to install, operate and maintain nine hydrogen sulfide (H2S) monitors and nine sulfur dioxide (SO2) monitors on St. Croix.
- Clean Air Act Section 114 Letter – April 1, 2021 (PDF)
- Clean Air Act Section 114 Letter – April 30, 2021 (PDF)
- Clean Air Act Section 114 Letter – June 16, 2021 (pdf)
On April 8, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of EPA, filed a Motion to Enter the First and Second Modifications to a 2011 Consent Decree (CD). The 2011 CD resolved Clean Air Act violations of the prior owner, HOVENSA. The First Modification to the CD substitutes the facility’s new owner, Limetree Bay, for HOVENSA, and adds an environmental response trust, established during bankruptcy, as a party to the CD. The Second Modification to the CD changes a date for completion of the first Benzene Waste Operations NESHAP audit to reflect the delay in restart.
- Read more about the consent decree
- Motion to Enter the First and Second Modifications to the 2011 Consent Decree – April 8, 2021 (PDF)
The Limetree Bay facility (formerly HOVENSA) has permits issued pursuant to the Clean Air Act’s (CAA’s) Prevention of Significant Deterioration of Air Quality (PSD) regulations by EPA. It also has Authorities to Construct and Permits to Operate issued under the minor new source review program and Operating Permits pursuant to title V of the CAA by the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources (VIDPNR). The facility is subject to multiple New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) regulations that require emission controls and monitoring for many of the operations at the facility.
Air Permits Issued by EPA
The following PSD permits that were issued to HOVENSA were transferred to Limetree Bay as the new owner of the refinery, on November 5, 2018.
- HOVENSA – GT-10 – PSD-Amended Final – August 15, 2007 (PDF)(18 pp, 528 K)
- HOVENSA – Original 1997 – PSD-Amended Final – May 9, 2011 (PDF)(25 pp, 6 MB)
- HOVENSA – GT-13-LSF-FCCU – PSD-Amended Final – August 17, 2011 (PDF)(28 pp, 1 MB)
Plantwide Applicability Limit (PAL) Permit
The PAL permit was withdrawn by EPA on March 25, 2021.
Air Permits Issued by VIDPNR
Title V Operating Permit
- Part 70 Operating Permit, July 2010 (PDF)(222 pp, 2 MB)
- Part 70 Operating Permit, March 2016 (PDF)(225 pp, 3 MB)
Authorities to Construct and Permits to Operate
- Authority to Construct and Permit to Operate, April 2018 (PDF)(15 pp, 5 MB)
- Authority to Construct and Permit to Operate, May 2020 (PDF)(32 pp, 2 MB)
The HOVENSA Environmental Response Trust (ERT) Limetree Bay facility (formerly HOVENSA) has permits issued pursuant to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
Under an agreement reached when HOVENSA declared bankruptcy, a trust was set up to manage the cleanup of legacy contamination at the site, particularly groundwater, which is contaminated with petroleum constituents. That cleanup continues.
Recent EPA News Releases and Community Updates
- Limetree Bay Community Update – August 25, 2021 (pdf)
- Limetree Bay Community Update - July 28, 2021 (pdf)
- Limetree Bay Community Update - Spanish (pdf)
- EPA's Acting Regional Administrator Walter Mugdan's June 21 statement on Limetree Bay Indefinite Closure (pdf)
- EPA’s May 6 Statement on Limetree Bay
- EPA’s May 5 Statement on Limetree Bay
- EPA’s April 27 Statement on Limetree Bay Incidents
- Cisterns Fact Sheet (pdf)
Recent EPA News Releases
- EPA Continues to Protect Community by Requiring Additional Monitoring of Emissions from Limetree Bay Refinery on St. Croix (pdf)
- EPA Uses Emergency Powers to Protect St. Croix Communities and Orders Limetree Bay Refinery to Pause Operations
- EPA Notifies Limetree Bay of Clean Air Act Violations
- The United States Seeks Court Approval of Modification to Settlement Covering the St. Croix Limetree Bay Facility located in the U.S. Virgin Islands
- EPA Withdraws Plantwide Applicability Limit Permit for Limetree Bay Refinery in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Will Review Clean Air Act Requirements for the Facility
- EPA Finalizes Clean Air Act Permit for Limetree Bay Facility on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
- EPA Announces Public Comment Period on Draft Clean Air Act Permit for Limetree Bay Facility on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands