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The CITGO Lemont Refinery has taken the lead in environmental and safety community outreach by creating the Community Awareness Emergency Response Council and the Odor Alert Network. These initiatives have enabled the refinery to foster strong relationships and increase communications with surrounding communities and emergency responders.

The refinery’s Waste Minimization and Pollution Prevention (WMPP) subcommittee coordinates household hazardous waste and electronic collection events for employees and contractors twice a year. The refinery sponsors the Village of Lemont’s oil collection and recycling event and, over the past couple of years, the WMPP subcommittee has worked to expand recycling within the refinery. Additionally, several times throughout the school year, employees teach students about CITGO environmental programs and capital projects, and they attend health and science fairs. They offer advice to students on how to be more environmentally conscious at home, at school and in their neighborhoods.


A major accomplishment at the refinery has been the reduction of flaring events. This has been accomplished by procedural and equipment changes. Flare gas recovery compressors have been installed in the flare systems to recover the gas for reuse within the refinery. Employee teams have also improved procedures to minimize or eliminate the amount of material directed to the flare system during normal operations and when units are shut down for maintenance. The refinery is routinely not flaring more than 99 percent of the time. The CITGO Lemont Refinery has taken significant steps in improving its efficiency, environmental advances and production. Recent environmental enhancements include a new wet gas scrubber and selective catalytic reduction unit, which reduce atmospheric emissions. Additionally, the refinery boasts a gasoline hydrotreater, allowing gasoline produced at this refinery to be essentially free of sulfur. Our Ultra Low-Sulfur Diesel unit allows for a 97 percent reduction in sulfur in the diesel fuel that the refinery produces. Since the late 1990s, the CITGO Lemont Refinery has invested nearly $1 billion in enhancements to preseve ourr environment and to keep our air and water clean.


A portion of the water entering the CITGO Lemont Refinery is recycled and reused. That water, which is discharged into the Chicago Sanitary Ship Canal (CSSC), is treated to stringent Illinois standards specified in our wastewater permit. For example, Illinois’ ammonia standards are two-thirds less than the federal standard. Elevated concentrations of ammonia can deplete oxygen levels in water ways. The CITGO Lemont Refinery has been diligent in reducing ammonia concentrations in our wastewater. In fact, our discharge is lower in ammonia concentration than the water taken in from the CSSC. This has resulted in a net removal of ammonia from the CSSC.