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Further comments on change to EPA emissions rules

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Following the US EPA proposed updates on the toxic air pollution standards for petroleum refineries to protect neighbourhoods near refineries, the AFPM and API passed comment. Since then, other organisations and individuals have spoken about the proposed rule changes.

California and Earthjustice

Emma Cheuse, attorney with Earthjustice has called the EPA amendments a step in the right direction. She has also said, "the first step to being able to protect our communities’ health is to at least know what’s going into the air from all different kinds of sources that can leak, and put pollution out at oil refineries." Cheuse has also said that it these measures are particularly important for children’s health, "as Americans, none of us want our kids to have to face extra cancer risk just because we happen to live near an industrial plant, and EPA is taking a really important, common sense step."

Environmental Protection Agency

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said, "the common sense steps we are proposing will protect the health of families who live near refineries and will provide them with important information about the quality of the air they breathe."

Louisiana and the Louisiana Bucket Brigade

A resident of Chalmette, Louisiana, which is located next to a refinery has said, "the air quality, being right here, so close to the refinery is very poor. And if you have asthma or sinus problems, it’s really bad for you."

Anne Rolfes of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, a watchdog group that seeks stronger environmental regulations said, "so would you tell a police officer when you’ve been speeding? Of course you wouldn’t. So we’ve got a real problem here in Louisiana that there is a lot of pollution happening. And of course the refineries do not tell on themselves.

"We’ve had to work for a long time to get the EPA to take these steps. And what is really telling is the technology to control pollution exists, so the oil refineries are being forced to do something to protect everybody’s health.

"There is no question Louisiana is far behind where we ought to be as far as pollution control is concerned and yet you have to applaud a baby step when you see it."

Safe Environment Coalition and Air Alliance Houston

Jesse Marquez, Coalition for a Safe Environment said, "if they are being monitored, how can it be that every refinery is increasing its flaring emissions every single year for over 10 years in a row? That tells us that someone is dropping the ball."

Air Alliance Houston executive director, Adrian Shelley has said that the self awareness of operators and the emissions levels reported are vastly undercounted. He has said that more sophisticated controls will not only spare communities form exposure to toxins but reduce production costs by more quickly notifying operators of leaks. 

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd.

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