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AFPM/API comment on changes to EPA emissions rules

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Both the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) and American Petroleum Institute (API) have responded to recent US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposals to revise the emissions requirements for refineries.

The newly proposed standards, which were issued as part of a process outlined in the Clean Air Act, are intended to protect the neighbourhoods surrounding refineries from health and environmental risks.

AFPM President Charles T. Drevna said: “While we have not had the opportunity to review the EPA risk numbers, we have evaluated the risks based on similar industry emissions data provided to the agency. Our analysis showed the risk levels were not appreciably higher than they were the first time the rule was finalised in 2009. At that time EPA was determined no further action was required”.

“The risk concerns of this rule do not justify additional controls that EPA is proposing. The rule requires some unprecedented changes such as fenceline monitors that are not justified by the risk findings. EPA’s one-size-fits-all approach to this monitoring will require every facility in the US, regardless of risk, to install monitoring equipment throughout the facility.

“We continue to be supportive of rules that are cost effective and provide substantial health benefits; unfortunately this rule does not accomplish either of these goals”, Drevna added.

API Director of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Howard Feldmen said: “With this proposal, EPA adds to the list of new regulations impacting refineries that come with enormous costs but questionable environmental benefits. This rule is intended to evaluate what risk, if any, is posed to the public from refinery emissions. But EPA has already concluded the risks associated with refinery emissions are low and the public protected with an ample margin of safety.

“America’s refineries have been reducing emissions for decades and will continue reducing emissions under existing regulations while making the cleanest fuels and helping to improve air quality”.

Edited from various sources by Emma McAleavey.

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