FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                         ENR
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 1996                         (202) 616-2771
                                                   (215) 566-2643
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888


     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Quaker State today agreed to spend more
than $3 million to settle charges that it polluted the air,
water, and soil at its petroleum processing refinery, near
Newell, West Virginia, the United States announced.  The company
also agreed to improve the facility's pollution control equipment
to comply with environmental law.

     The settlement, filed today in U.S. District Court in
Wheeling, resulted from the close cooperation between West
Virginia and the federal government.  It resolves a lawsuit filed
by the United States in 1993, alleging that Quaker State violated
the Clean Air Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act,
a law that governs the handling of hazardous waste.

     Today's action involves Quaker State's Congo refinery, where
the company produces motor oil.  The State of West Virginia is a
party to the settlement and joined the lawsuit brought by the
United States.

     "This settlement will help improve the environment in the
Newell area, and sends the message that companies must obey our
nation's environmental laws," said Lois J. Schiffer, Assistant
Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department's
Environment and Natural Resources Division.  "Quaker State is
paying a substantial fine for its past violations and must
undertake sweeping action to improve the Congo refinery's
pollution control equipment in order to prevent future
contamination and to protect the people of West Virginia."

     "This settlement with Quaker State is an excellent example
of a State working closely and in cooperation with a federal
agency," said W. Michael McCabe, Region 3 Administrator, United
States Environmental Protection Agency.  "Had there been a
greater willingness on the part of the company to work with the
State and EPA at the outset, we could have provided a cleaner and
healthier environment several years earlier."

     "The settlement reached in this case is highly constructive
and represents a significant stride in preserving and protecting
the environment in West Virginia," said William D. Wilmoth,
United States Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia.

     Under the agreement, Quaker State will pay a $1.75 million
fine, with over $500,000 going to the State and the remainder to
the federal government.  Quaker State also will perform several
supplemental environmental projects and improvements, not
required by law, valued at over $1.2 million that will reduce
emissions of pollutants from the refinery into the environment. 
Finally, the company will upgrade the wastewater treatment plant
and air pollution control equipment at the facility. 
     In a complaint filed in 1993, the United States alleges that
Quaker State, among other things, improperly stored and treated
hazardous wastewater at its wastewater treatment plant,
threatening to contaminate the soil and groundwater in the area.

     The complaint further alleges that the refinery combusted
high levels of hydrogen sulfide gas in violation of federal and
State environmental laws.   When combusted, hydrogen sulfide
produces sulfur dioxide, which contributes to the formation of
acid rain. 
     Lastly, the United States alleges that Quaker State
improperly and illegally removed asbestos from the Congo refinery
while performing maintenance on pipes and vessels at the plant. 
During a May 1992 inspection, EPA discovered a dumpster of
asbestos containing materials that had accumulated over the
course of about a year.  According to the complaint, Quaker State
violated federal law by failing to adequately wet the asbestos
and to notify EPA of the removal actions.