delware environmental institute

News Journal: State, refinery sign deal on river intake upgrade

State regulators have agreed to a partial upgrade of the Delaware City Refinery's badly outdated, 300 million gallon-per-day cooling water intake system as compensation for past environmental violations at the plant, in a deal that already has angered some environmental advocates.

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary David Small said the agreement, signed last week, settles a long list of water and wastewater permit violations since early 2011. In the settlement, PBF Energy agreed to earlier-than-required action to install modern protections for Delaware River fish and other aquatic life sucked against the plant's trash-exclusion screens.

Terms of the settlement -- which will also waive a $116,000 penalty -- have been woven into a draft replacement for the refinery's long-outdated wastewater discharge permit, scheduled for release to the public starting Sunday.