The U.S. government reached a deal with ConocoPhillips Jan. 27 that requires the largest domestic petroleum refiner to install more than $525 million in pollution controls at nine facilities to reduce emissions in seven states.

In a statement the Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Dept. said the settlement under the federal Clean Air Act is expected to reduce emissions by more than 47,000 tons annually from nine refineries. Those facilities represent nearly 10% of total refining capacity in the country. The agreement is part of EPAs national effort to reduce harmful air emissions from refineries.

The consent decree, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District in Texas, also requires the Houston-based firm to pay a $4.5million civil penalty and spend more than $10 million on supplemental environmental projects to reduce emissions further and to support activities in the communities where it operates.

ConocoPhillips actions under this agreement are expected to reduce annual emissions of nitrogen oxide by more than 10,000 tons and sulfur dioxide by more than 37,100 tons per year. Emissions of particulate matter are expected to be significantly reduced.

The states of Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as the Northwest Clean Air Agency in Washington state joined the settlement.

To meet obligations under EPAs New Source Review program, the refiner will cut emissions significantly from its largest emitting units through the use of innovative technologies. ConocoPhillips will upgrade its leak detection and repair practices, implement programs to minimize flaring of hazardous gases, reduce emissions from its sulfur recovery plants and adopt strategies to ensure the proper handling of hazardous benzene wastes at each refinery.

The affected ConocoPhillips refineries are>located in Belle Chasse, La.; Linden, N.J.; Borger and Sweeny, Texas; Carson and Wilmington, Calif.; Ferndale, Wash.; Rodeo and Santa Maria, Calif.; Trainer, Pa.; and Roxanna and Hartford, Ill.