Polluted county anticipates economic boost while reducing emissions

ROXANA, ILL. — On a day when Madison County was exposed for its poor air quality, a refinery in the county promoted the economic impact of its $3.6 billion expansion project, which will mean reduced emissions, officials said.

Hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue are expected to come from the huge expansion project under way at the ConocoPhillips Wood River Refinery in Roxana, which began in November.

The Environmental Protection Agency revealed Tuesday that areas in Madison County and Los Angeles had the highest cancer risks in the nation, according to pollution records from 2002.

ConocoPhillips' Government and Community Affairs Director Melissa Erker said the new addition will decrease sulfur dioxide emissions by 95 percent from 2005 levels, and nitrogen dioxide levels will drop by 25 percent from 2005 levels. Particulate emissions and volatile organic compound emissions will remain flat, Erker said.

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