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EPA proposes amendments to refinery emissions regulations

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The US Environment Protection Agency's (EPA) Administrator, Scott Pruitt, has proposed amendments to the Petroleum Refinery Sector Risk and Technology Review and the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS).

After receiving three separate petitions for reconsideration on the final 1 December 2015 Refinery Sector Rule, EPA is taking action to address concerns regarding the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants requiring Maximum Available Control Technology standards, and NSPS for petroleum refineries. The proposed amendments specifically provide technical corrections that clarify the requirements for work practice standards, recordkeeping, and reporting.

This action is expected to save approximately US$77 million in capital investment and US$11.5 million per year without sacrificing environmental protection.

EPA will take public comment on the notice for 45 days after the proposed amendments are published in the federal register.

The American Petroleum Institute’s (API) Senior Director of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs, Howard Feldman, issued the following statement in response: “EPA’s practical clarification to the language of the refinery rule’s regulatory requirements is a positive step that can help reduce uncertainty, while meeting our shared goal to protect public health […] Balanced, effective refinery regulations allow our industry to invest in production of cleaner fuels and in our facilities in order to improve environmental performance.

“The safe operation of our refineries and the protection of the health and safety of our workers, the communities where we operate, and the environment are core values for our industry. Through the development of cleaner transportation fuels and lower emissions at our facilities, our industry is contributing to a cleaner environment – including helping the US reduce ozone concentrations by 17% since 2000.

“The natural gas and oil industry is committed to safety and environmental stewardship to help continue these trends as communities across the country benefit from the responsible development and use of America’s oil and natural gas.”

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Downstream news US refinery news American Petroleum Institute news