EPA proposes uniform refining, petchem emissions standards

The US Environmental Protection Agency proposed national uniform emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants at refineries and petrochemical plants’ storage vessel and transfer operations, equipment leaks, or control devices. The proposals are flawed solutions looking for a problem, an American Petroleum Institute official immediately observed.

“Instead of developing the standards based on emissions data and other relevant facts from a particular industry, these standards are ‘reverse engineered’ to require the most stringent control requirement without adequate consideration of costs,” Howard Feldman, API’s regulatory and scientific affairs director, said on Mar. 26.

“At a time when the president has called on federal agencies to take into account the impacts of regulations on jobs and the economy, the last thing US industries need are more complex, stringent and burdensome regulations,” he maintained.

EPA said in its Mar. 26 Federal Register notice that having uniform standards would help it meet required statutory stringency tests as it periodically reviews and, if necessary, revises new source performance standards and national emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants as required under the Clean Air Act.

“The proposed uniform standards would ensure consistency and streamline record-keeping and reporting requirements for facilities with storage vessels and transfer operations, equipment leaks, and process vents that must comply with multiple regulations,” it said.

Comments on the proposals will be accepted through June 25, EPA indicated.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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