Oil & Gas Industry Law Alert: U.S. EPA Continues Refinery Enforcement, Focuses on Flares
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice recently announced the latest proposed settlement in EPA’s Clean Air Act enforcement initiative against petroleum refiners. Hess Corporation will pay an $850,000 civil penalty and spend more than $45 million on new pollution controls at its Port Reading, New Jersey refinery to resolve alleged CAA violations.
This settlement includes several measures related to New Source Performance Standards and flaring. EPA has declared flaring an enforcement priority, and this settlement reflects the agency’s focus and will require Hess to adopt a number of new compliance and monitoring requirements.
This latest settlement follows April’s settlement with Marathon Petroleum Company for several CAA violations and continues a trend that has seen now 31 such agreements with petroleum refineries in the U.S. since 2000. As a result of these settlements, refiners have invested more than $6 billion in new pollution controls to reduce sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and other emissions.