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Environmentalists Want More Information on Refinery

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – A Metro East environmental group says the Conoco-Phillips company is not telling the Illinois EPA enough about a refinery expansion plan in Hartford.

The company wants to integrate equipment bought from Premcor into its own refinery. But Kathy Andria with the American Bottom Conservancy says a bigger plant could worsen air and water pollution problems in the community.

"This thing has been rushed through, and we don't think that the agency has had time to properly inspect, evaluate and comply with the law," Andria said.

Andria said the company has omitted information from its proposal citing trade secrets.

The Illinois EPA is holding a hearing Tuesday night on the plan at Hartford elementary school.

Conoco-Phillips spokeswoman Melissa Erker says the company is following all state EPA regulations.

"All we're doing right now is following their rules, and we've submitted our application and now they're replying to our application and will either grant us a permanent permit to operate or make other changes necessary," Erker said.

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