2020 Environmental Real Estate IssuesThe country’s largest natural gas processing facility, located near Chicago, Illinois, has agreed to a multi-million dollar settlement regarding alleged Clean Air Act (CAA) violations.

Civil Penalty, Upgrades and Mitigation
Aux Sable Liquid Products will pay a $2.7 million civil penalty; spend at least $4.5 million on improvements to pollution controls; purchase Illinois emission allotments of approximately $160,000; and implement mitigation projects costing $3 million, according to announcements released by the US Department of Justice and EPA.

New Source Review/Non-Attainment
According to the announcements, pollution due to equipment leaks significantly exceeded applicable thresholds, and the facility, which began operating in 2000, never complied with CAA’s New Source Review requirements. Also, the facility is in a nonattainment area for ground level ozone; EPA claims the settlement “will advance EPA’s goal of reducing the number of nonattainment areas in the country.”

Improvements and Mitigation
The settlement’s pollution control provisions require:

expansion of the leak detection and repair program;
replacement of old or leaking valves;
achieving 99% control efficiency at off-gas incinerators; and
installation of ultra-low NOx burners.

The mitigation projects will include equipment upgrades at Chicago area locomotive switch yards.

For a copy of the announcements and additional information https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/aux-sable-liquid-products-agrees-take-measures-resolve-clean-air-act-violations-its-natural and https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/aux-sable-liquid-products-clean-air-act-settlement