Jan 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Oil refiner Marathon Petroleum Corp. has paid a $700,000 civil penalty in Minnesota for releasing benzene into an unlined lagoon near the Mississippi River.
Marathon, based in Findlay, Ohio, is the former owner of a large oil refinery in St. Paul Park. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency alleges Marathon gained financially by illegally disposing of benzene process wastewater in 2010. Benzene is a potent carcinogen.
Minnesota Public Radio News reports the MPCA also says Marathon lacked a permit for hazardous waste, and exceeded its permit limits for ammonia, nitrogen and sulfides.
Marathon paid the penalty under terms of a stipulation agreement, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
In late 2010, Marathon sold the refinery to St. Paul Park Refining Co., which currently operates the facility.