Enforcement

Motiva Enterprises LLC Refinery Settlement

On March 21, 2001, EPA and the Department of Justice announced a settlement that commits nine refineries owned by Motiva, Equilon, and the Deer Park Refining Limited Partnership (Shell Deer Park) to an ambitious program to assure compliance with major provisions of the Clean Air Act. The companies expect to spend a total of $400 million over eight years to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by an estimated 8,000 tons per year, sulfur dioxide (SO2) by more than 49,550 tons per year, and particulate matter (PM) by 1,300 tons per year.

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Overview

The settlement announced commits nine refineries owned by Motiva, Equilon, and the Deer Park Refining Limited Partnership (Shell Deer Park) to an ambitious program to assure compliance with major provisions of the Clean Air Act. The companies expect to spend a total of $400 million over eight years to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by an estimated 8,000 tons per year, sulfur dioxide (SO2) by more than 49,550 tons per year, and particulate matter (PM) by 1,300 tons per year.

The consent decree provides for a limited pool of emission reductions that can be used to expedite production of clean fuels to meet "Tier II" and low sulfur diesel standards that begin to take effect in 2004. These provisions, which will help eliminate clean fuel production bottlenecks that could shrink supply and raise prices, are subject to review by state and local permit authorities.

Refineries Compliance Strategy

This is the third settlement in a federal strategy for achieving cooperative across-the-board compliance with U.S. refining companies. Last year the federal government reached similar and record settlements with BP and Koch Petroleum Group, two of the nation's largest oil refiners. When combined with BP and Koch, the three agreements cover nearly 25 percent of total U.S. refining capacity.

EPA also is engaged in settlement negotiations with several other companies comprising an additional 25 percent of total U.S. refining capacity.

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State Partnerships

The states of Delaware and Louisiana, and the Northwest Air Pollution Authority (NWAPA) have joined in this settlement. NWAPA is the Washington State's regional regulatory agency charged with enforcing air pollution laws in Island, Skagit, and Whatcom counties. The states of Delaware and Louisiana will share in the civil penalty and all plaintiffs will benefit from additional environmental projects in communities where the refineries are located.

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Companies/Affected Refineries

Motiva Enterprises LLC is a joint venture of Shell, Texaco, and Saudi Refining, Inc. Deer Park Refining Limited Partnership is a joint venture of Shell and a subsidiary of Petroleos Mexicanos. Equilon Enterprises LLC is a joint venture between Shell Oil Company and Texaco Inc. The nine refineries, located in five states, together process about 1.6 million barrels of oil a day, and represent approximately 10 percent of total refining capacity. The following refineries are subject to the consent decree:

Equilon Enterprises LLC:

The company's four refineries are capable of refining approximately 460,000 barrels per day.

  • Bakersfield, CA., 62,000 barrels per day.
  • Wilmington, CA., 99,000 barrels per day.
  • Martinez, CA., 155,000 barrels per day
  • Anacortes, WA.,145,000 barrels per day.

Motiva Enterprises LLC:

Motiva's four refineries are capable of refining approximately 830,000 barrels per day.

  • Convent, La., 225,000 barrels per day.
  • Delaware City, DE., 152,000 barrels per day.
  • Norco, La., 220,000 barrels per day.
  • Port Arthur, TX., 235,000 barrels per day.

Deer Park Refining Limited Partnership:

  • Deer Park, TX., 340,000 barrels per day.

Clean Air Act

The consent decree resolves certain violations associated with:

  • New Source Review (NSR) standards requiring facilities to apply best available technology (BACT) or lowest achievable emission reductions (LAER) when "grandfathered" units are expanded in a way that increases emissions;
  • New source performance standards and other pollution control practices applicable to certain units, including the flaring of sulfur gases during process upsets;
  • Leak detection and repair (LDAR) requirements governing fugitive emissions from process components including valves, pumps, flanges; and
  • Benzene emissions from wastewater treatment plants.These are the most significant sources of air emissions at refineries nationwide.

Settlement Terms

  • Civil Penalty: The companies have agreed to a $9.5 million penalty: $4.4 million to the United States, $2.8 million to Delaware, and $2.3 million to Louisiana.
  • Environmental projects: The agreement includes $5.5 million in community-based supplemental environmental projects; some of which will fund projects requested by NWAPA.
  • Enhanced Pollution Controls ($400 Million): The agreement requires major capital expenditures at all refineries to build and operate technologies to control NOx and SO2 emissions at fluidized catalytic cracking units (FCCUs) and a fluid coking unit (FCU), refinery processes that break crude oil down into major categories of refined product, and at heaters and boilers, which fuel the refining process. The companies also will invest in controls and operating practices to minimize the excess flaring of sulfurous gases, reduce fugitive emissions from process components, including leaking valves, pumps and flanges, and the release of benzene gases from wastewater treatment and conveyance systems.

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ENHANCED POLLUTION CONTROLS

  • FCCU/FCU SO2: Install wet gas scrubbers at five units to reduce SO2 (also reducing particulate emissions). Aggressive use of catalyst additives at two other units to achieve improvement. NOx: Install selective catalytic reduction (SCR) or selective noncatalytic reduction (SCNR) at three units. Aggressive use of catalysts at five other units in an effort to achieve improvement.
  • Heaters/Boilers SO2: Eliminate burning of liquid and solid fuels. NOx: Install "ultra-low NOx" burners or other technologies to reduce overall NOx emissions from heaters and boilers greater than 40 MMBtu by more than 6,000 tons per year.
  • Flare Gas Recovery Meet "new source" standards at all sulfur recovery plants and most hydrocarbon flares. Install flare gas recovery systems and take other actions to reduce emissions from process upsets. Reroute and eliminate sulfur pit emissions. Implement protocol to diagnose and prevent upsets that result in significant releases of SO2 and other gases.
  • Leak Detect/Repair Implement an enhanced program for identifying and repairing leaking valves and pumps, a significant source of fugitive VOC emissions through more frequent monitoring, the use of lower definitions for what is a "leak," and regular auditing of each facility's LDAR program.
  • Benzene/Wastewater Develop an enhanced program for ensuring compliance with benzene waste management practices through comprehensive auditing, regular monitoring, and improved emission controls (e.g., secondary carbon canisters and water scrubbers).
REFINERY FCCU CONTROL SCHEDULE
  NOx SO2
DELAWARE CITY, DE Catalysts (2001) Wet Gas Scrubbers (2004), Optimize (2005)

SNCR at FCU (2004) *Optimize (2005)
Wet Gas Scrubbers at FCU (2003) Optimize (2006)

CONVENT, LA
Catalysts (2001) Wet Gas Scrubber (2006), Optimize 2007)
NORCO, LA SNCR (2004) Optimize (2005) Optimize existing Wet Gas Scrubber (2001)
PORT ARTHUR, TX
Catalysts (2001)
Set lower limits - existing Wet Gas Scrubber
WILMINGTON, CA Catalysts (2001) Catalysts (2001)
BAKERSFIELD, CA N/A N/A
MARTINEZ, CA SNCR Optimization (2001) Catalysts (2001)
ANACORTES, WA Catalysts (2001) Wet Gas Scrubber (2006)
DEER PARK, TX SCR (2004) Optimize (2005) Wet Gas Scrubber (2003)

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In 2013, Motiva Enterprises LLC, Equilon Enterprises LLC, and Deer Park Refining Limited (collectively, the “Shell Defendants”) completed their obligations under the Heaters and Boilers Consent Decree, as it applies to the following refineries that the Shell Defendants currently own and operate:

  • Norco, LA
  • Port Arthur, TX
  • Martinez, CA
  • Puget Sound, WA
  • Deer Park, TX

In addition, the Shell Defendants no longer have any obligations under the Heaters and Boilers Consent Decree for the following refineries previously owned/operated by the Shell Defendants:

  • Delaware City, DE
  • Bakersfield, CA
  • Los Angeles, CA

These refineries are owned/operated by companies other than the Shell Defendants, and the requirements of the Heaters and Boilers Consent Decree as they apply to these refineries remain in force.  On August 1, 2013, the Heaters and Boilers Consent as it applies soely to the Shell Defendants was terminated by the Court.

Reductions in NOx Emissions Achieved under the Heaters and Boilers Consent Decree

Heater and Boilers NOx Reductions

The Heaters and Boilers consent decree required a reduction in NOx emissions from refinery heaters and boilers, from a pre-settlement baseline level of 16,633 tons per year (tpy) down to 9713 tpy – a reduction of 6,920 tpy.  Actual emission reductions achieved from implementation of the consent decree resulted in a slightly better level than originally required, down to 9683 tpy, or a cumulative reduction of 6950 tpy.

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For additional information, contact:

Patrick W. Foley
Senior Environmental Engineer
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2242A)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20460-0001
(202) 564-7978
foley.patrick@epa.gov

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