Washington must restrict refineries' emissions, judge orders

Dec 2, 2011

A federal judge in Seattle says Washington must restrict greenhouse gas emissions from the state's five oil refineries.

The Sierra Club, Washington Environmental Council and their lawyers at Earthjustice sued the Washington Ecology Department to force it to do a better job curbing the emissions.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman agreed with them in a ruling Friday. The judge said the state was wrong not to require the refineries in Blaine, Ferndale, Anacortes and Tacoma to cut their greenhouse gas emissions.

The environmental groups say the refineries are responsible for as much as 8 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the state, and using new technology could curb them significantly.

Pechman said she would determine later how quickly the state must apply greenhouse gas emission standards to the refineries.