Shell Chem to spend $9.5m to resolve US Clean Air Act violations

31 March 2010 18:43  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Shell Chemical has agreed to pay $9.5m (€7.1m) for pollution reduction equipment and on civil penalties to resolve multiple US Clean Air Act violations, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Justice Department said on Wednesday.

Of the $9.5m, $6m would be spent on the application of new air pollution control technologies to reduce emissions at petroleum refining facilities in Saraland, Alabama and St Rose, Louisiana.

Elsewhere, $3.3m will go to civil penalties to the US, Alabama and Louisiana, and $200,000 would go to Louisiana organisations for environmental education and emergency operations, the EPA said.

“These two settlements are excellent examples of businesses working with government to achieve compliance at their facilities around the country, which will benefit the health of local communities and the environment,” said Ignacia Moreno, assistant attorney general with the EPA’s environment and natural resource division.

Violations were also detected at Shell Chemical Yabucoa’s facility in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, but Shell already opted to shut down its refining operations there in the summer of 2009, the EPA said.

However, the company continued to operate the existing gasoline terminal there.

As such, the terminal operations in Puerto Rico and the two refineries in Alabama and Louisiana would all upgrade leak-detection and repair practices, while also implementing programmes to minimise the number and severity of flaring events.

Between all of the Shell facilities, the settlements should reduce air emissions of sulphur dioxide SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and other pollutants by more than 1,450 tons/year (1,315 tonnes/year). Combined, the three facilities had a combined capacity of 235,000 bbl/day.

The settlements were subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by a US federal court.

($1 = €0.75)

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By: Ben DuBose
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