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EPA in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Limetree Bay Terminals and Limetree Bay Refining, LLC

St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

(Formerly, HOVENSA)

This page contains information related to the Limetree Bay Terminals and Limetree Bay Refining, LLC (Limetree Bay), including information about permits and enforcement.

EPA takes very seriously concerns expressed by residents around the Limetree Bay facility.

Working with the US VI government, EPA is committed to ensuring that the facility operates in compliance with the law without jeopardizing people’s health and the environment. If EPA makes a determination that the facility’s operations present an imminent risk to people’s health, consistent with its legal authorities, it will take appropriate action to safeguard public safety.

To provide more immediate monitoring and to provide more information, EPA will be bringing monitoring equipment to St. Croix to measure for sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide, along with personnel to operate the monitors. A team of EPA experts arrived on April 30 and was joined by members of the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources to gather information about the recent incidents and to conduct a preliminary assessment of the situation. These experts are interacting with community members, answering people’s questions, and gathering information as part of EPA’s ongoing activities.

Using its legal authorities, EPA is requesting information from Limetree Bay regarding incidents that occurred recently at the refinery. For more information, please read EPA’s May 6 Statement on the Limetree Bay alleged “Coker” Incident and EPA’s April 27 Statement on Limetree Bay Incidents.

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.

Enforcement

On April 30, EPA issued a notice of violation to Limetree Bay Terminals, 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 Notice of Violation – April 30, 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.

Clean Air Act Section 114 Letter – April 1, 2021 (PDF)

Clean Air Act Section 114 Letter – April 30, 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.

To read more about the consent decree, visit: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/hovensa-llc-clean-air-act-settlement

Motion to Enter the First and Second Modifications to the 2011 Consent Decree – April 8, 2021 (PDF)

Air

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

PSD Permits

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.

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

Authorities to Construct and Permits to Operate