Oil refinery cancels portion of Washington state project

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — County commissioners in Washington state have settled a legal battle with an oil refinery and environmental groups arguing against plans to produce xylenes for shipment overseas. Skagit Valley Herald reported Tuesday that the Skagit County Board of Commissioners signed the agreement ending part of a three-part project by Marathon Anacortes Refinery. Refinery officials say the completed project would have reduced the sulfur content of its fuel products, reduced vessel emissions and produced xylenes often used in the manufacturing of plastics. Some environmental groups raised concerns about the possible production of xylene saying it could increase the number of vessel trips, raise the risk of chemical spills and threaten the local orca population.