FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government will issue a new Class 1 air quality approval for the Irving Oil Refinery in Saint John.

The company's current approval expires on July 15, with the new approval taking effect on July 16. The approval follows a public consultation process that included a public review that ran from Dec. 20, 2019, to May 15, 2020.

The refinery, which opened in 1960, was originally designed to process 38,500 barrels of crude oil per day. Two new process areas, constructed in 1976, resulted in the refinery becoming the largest in Canada. Continued improvements and process efficiencies mean the facility can now process more than 320,000 barrels per day.

The refinery produces a range of fuels for transportation including, ultra-low sulphur gasoline, ultra-low sulphur diesel, jet fuel and combustion applications such as home heating oil, kerosene and Bunker C. Other fuels produced for use in more specialized combustion and transportation applications include butane and propane. The heaviest components of crude oil are used in asphalt, which is sold for paving.

The information, along with approval conditions, can be viewed on the Department of Environment and Local Government website or at any regional office of the department.

Class 1 major industries are required to comply with the Air Quality Regulation under the Clean Air Act, and to operate under the terms and conditions established in the approval to operate.