The idled plant on St. Croix, formerly known as the Limetree Bay refinery, experienced a series of accidents over the course of last year that spewed noxious fumes and showered oil droplets onto nearby homes, sending some residents to emergency rooms. Now deteriorating conditions at the massive facility, which was sold in a bankruptcy auction in December, pose a major test of the Biden administration’s commitment to environmental justice.
In September, the EPA conducted an inspection of the refinery and observed “significant corrosion” of equipment including valves, pipes and pressure relief devices, the agency said in a letter sent to the owners’ lawyers Oct. 13 and made public this week.
This facility was originally constructed over 50 years ago, and has been shut down several times for various reasons. But the Trump administration's negligent approach to environmental stewardship created an opportunity to squeeze more dollars out of it:
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