EPA proposes rule to reduce refineries' toxic air emissions further

The US Environmental Protection Agency is seeking comments on additional options to reduce emissions of toxic air pollutants from petroleum refineries based on information received since a 2007 proposal.

Nov 7th, 2008

The US Environmental Protection Agency is seeking comments on additional options to reduce emissions of toxic air pollutants from petroleum refineries based on information received since a 2007 proposal.

The proposal includes options for controlling toxic air emissions from storage tanks at refineries and revisions to the maximum achievable control technology work practice standards for cooling towers, the agency said on Oct. 31.

It said that under the additional option for controlling toxic emissions from storage tanks, some would be required to comply with existing regulations for storage vessels which EPA issued in 1999. The supplemental MACT work practice proposal would revise the definition of a leak and requirements for leak detection and repair programs. EPA said that it made this change based on new information it received since the initial proposal.

The agency said that it issued a national rule to limit toxic air pollutant emissions from refineries in 1995. It proposed amendments to those standards in August under the federal Clean Air Act's residual risk and eight-year technology review provisions. The new requirements will reduce refineries' yearly toxic air emissions by 2,250 tons and volatile organic compounds emissions by 14,600 tons, it said.

EPA said that it would accept comments on the supplemental for 45 days after its publication in the Federal Register.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

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