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Illinois Gives OK to Reopen Hartford Refinery


Springfield, Ill – The state of Illinois has given ConocoPhillips the go-ahead to reopen a refinery in the small town of Hartford, near St. Louis.

The approval from Governor Rod Blagojevich means the company can restart a closed crude oil refining unit even though it hasn't received a permanent permit from the state.

ConocoPhillips purchased the plant last year from Premcor, which closed the refinery in 2002.

The refinery produces reformulated gasoline required in the St. Louis and Chicago areas to reduce air pollution during the summer.

State officials hope reopening the plant will help keep gas prices down.

Some environmental groups are unhappy that the plant is being allowed to reopen without the usual public comment process.