CEO Morning Brief

BP Unit to Pay Record US$40 Mil to Settle US Air Pollution Civil Charges

Publish date: Thu, 18 May 2023, 08:39 AM
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TheEdge CEO Morning Brief
BP unit to pay record US$40 mil to settle US air pollution civil charges

WASHINGTON (May 17): A subsidiary of BP plc will pay a record-setting US$40 million penalty to settle civil US charges that its Indiana-based oil refinery violated federal laws aimed at curbing emissions of cancer-causing benzene in wastewater and other harmful pollutants, the US Justice Department said on Wednesday.

The settlement between BP Products North America Inc., the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency will also require the company to invest approximately US$197 million in new technology and other capital improvements to reduce air pollution.

Those improvements are expected to reduce benzene by an estimated seven tons per year, other hazardous air pollutants (HAP) by 28 tons per year, and volatile organic compound emissions (VOC) by 372 tons per year at its Whiting Refinery in Indiana, the Justice Department said.

“This settlement sends an important message to the refining industry that the United States will take decisive action against illegal benzene and VOC emissions,” Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division said in a statement.

“Under the settlement, the refinery will implement controls that will greatly improve air quality and reduce health impacts on the overburdened communities that surround the facility.”

BP Plc’s 435,000 barrel-per-day Whiting, Indiana, refinery is the sixth-biggest by capacity in the United States and the company's largest in the nation, according the US Energy Information Administration.

Nine US Gulf Coast refineries exceeded the federal regulatory action level between 2018 and 2020 for pollution from benzene, which causes cancer, according to a study by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) released on in May of last year.

The nine are among 56 US refineries with high benzene levels, the study said. Sixty-four percent of the 56 refineries are located in the Gulf Coast states of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Source: TheEdge - 18 May 2023

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