US environmental regulators reach agreement with Flint Hills in Texas

22 October 2010 17:53  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reached an agreement with Flint Hills Resources (FHR) to bring its refinery emissions permit in line with federal standards, the agency said on Friday.

In May, the EPA wrested control of the Flint Hills permit from state regulators in a dispute between the state and federal agency. That action came as a result of the inability of the state of Texas to address what the EPA considered violations of the US Clean Air Act.

The action stemmed from the EPA’s objection to a proposed flexible air permit for FHR’s East Refinery in Corpus Christi. The EPA said it had developed a plan to move FHR’s four air pollution permits to permits consistent with the Clean Air Act.

The EPA said on Friday it was working with Texas regulators, community and environmental groups to make changes in the air permitting programme.

“It is our hope that the FHR process will serve as a model for other companies seeking to transition to federally-approved permits,” said EPA regional administrator Al Armendariz.

“The transition process announced today and other changes to the FHR East Refinery permit resolve the EPA objections, clear the way for TCEQ to act on the company's permit applications, bring regulatory certainty to the company and will provide the public the clarity they are entitled to in the permits being held by major FHR facilities in Corpus Christi, Port Arthur and Longview,” the EPA said.

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By: Brian Ford
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