Under the terms of a legal settlement announced today, the Hess Corporation is expected to make about $45 million in pollution control upgrades at its Port Reading oil refinery near Woodbridge. Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin says this will dramatically reduce polluting emissions and lead to a marked improvement in air quality for the region.

“The Christie Administration has been aggressively targeting in-state and out-of-state sources of air pollution, to improve the quality of life for residents of our state,’’ says Martin. “This settlement is another win for improved air quality for our residents.’’

Hess also will pay an $850,000 civil penalty to resolve federal Clean Air Act violations at the refinery as part of the settlement with the federal Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Justice, and the DEP. The settlement is the result of a negotiated agreement with Hess. 

The settlement is the 31st with refineries in 32 states stemming from the EPA’s decade-old Refinery Initiative, aimed at significantly reducing troubling air emissions. New Jersey actively participated in the settlement with Hess, and will split the civil penalty with the EPA.

“This is an important outcome for the quality of life of New Jersey residents,” says State Attorney General Jeff Chiesa. “We are committed to working with the Department of Environmental Protection to enforce the State’s pollution control and other environmental laws, and to safeguard the health and well-being of New Jersey residents.”