2020 Environmental Real Estate Issues

According to EPA’s May 17, 2023 news release, a settlement over refinery emissions includes “the largest civil penalty ever secured for a Clean Air Act stationary source settlement.” The settlement will also require installation of “control technology expected to reduce benzene by an estimated seven tons per year, other hazardous air pollutants (HAP) by 28 tons per year, and other volatile organic compound emissions (VOC) by 372 tons per year…” and “a $5 million supplemental environmental project…” The penalty, which includes stipulated penalties for violation of a past settlement, is $40 million.

Hazardous Emission and New Source Standards

EPA’s Settlement Information Sheet states the company violated hazardous emission standards for benzene waste operations and new source standards for volatile organic compounds, along with the standards’ associated requirements to use good air pollution control practices.

Over $200 Million in Pollution Reduction Investments

In addition to the record-setting penalty, the company agreed to install pollution reduction equipment at a cost estimated to exceed $197 million, including “one or more permanent benzene strippers to reduce benzene in wastewater streams…” It will also implement “a $5 million supplemental environmental project to reduce diesel emissions…” in the community near the refinery and “install 10 air pollutant monitoring stations to monitor air quality outside of the refinery fenceline.”

Environmental Justice Component

EPA said the refinery “is surrounded by communities with environmental justice concerns. This settlement is part of EPA’s and the Justice Department’s ongoing focus on assisting communities that have been historically marginalized and disproportionately exposed to pollution.”

To see the news release, which includes links to the Settlement Information Sheet and the proposed Consent Decree https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-and-justice-department-announce-settlement-reduce-hazardous-air-emissions-bp