Valero to pay fines, upgrade Delaware City refinery

Valero Energy agreed to pay $445,000 in penalties and spend $5.6 million on improvements and environmental projects at its 190,000 b/cd Delaware City, Del., refinery in a settlement over alleged air and water violations.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, July 10 -- Valero Energy Corp. agreed to pay $445,000 in penalties and spend $5.6 million on improvements and environmental projects at its 190,000 b/cd Delaware City, Del., refinery in a settlement over alleged air and water violations.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) announced the settlement on July 5. Valero acquired the high-conversion refinery of heavy, sour crude while acquiring Premcor Refining Group Inc. (OGJ, May 2, 2005, p 46).

A Delaware administrative order covers instances of alleged noncompliance with state air quality, hazardous waste, and water quality regulations from May 1, 2004, through Sept. 30, 2006. The water issues concern the refinery's wastewater treatment plant.

Most of the settlement involves problems with carbon monoxide boilers for the coker unit and the fluid catalytic cracking unit. Valero agreed to spend $4.5 million on boiler improvements and to conduct enhanced monitoring of nitrogen oxide emissions from two process heaters.

Valero also will spend $1.2 million to reroute hazardous hydrogen sulfide sulfur pit vapors into marketable sulfur. The company will spend $60,000 for a Fort Delaware power system, $40,000 for community yard waste sites, and $10,000 to improve fish habitats.

A company spokeswoman said Valero approached DNREC in an effort to resolve environmental issues lingering from previous owners. Premcor acquired the refinery from Motiva Enterprises LLC in 2004.

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