Interesting bit in the paper this morning. The EPA is conducting a criminal investigation of Chevron after discovering that the company had rerouted pollutants around monitoring equipment at their Richmond Refinery and burnt them up in the atmosphere.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District found the pipe two years ago. Investigators have been investigating the use of the 3-inch (7.6-centimeter) pipe, which allowed emissions from a hydrocracking complex to bypass the refinery's pollution control equipment on the way to the refinery's safety flare system, at the discretion of the complex's operator.The feds now want to know who and why?
The EPA investigation focuses on emissions during a three-year period, said Wayne Kino, enforcement manager at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.Chevron says that the use of the pipe was inadvertent and that it is cooperating with the investigation. Look for them to pay a small fine and admit no culpability. That's how we like to deal with big corporations in this country.
Chevron in 2011 paid a $170,000 settlement to the BAAQMD stemming from the agency's civil complaint about the refinery routing pollutants past monitoring systems. Some of the refinery's pipes were not connected to monitoring systems put into place after the agency developed new emission rules, Mr. Kino said.
"We would require them to either monitor [the pollutants] or reroute them into the whole system," Mr. Kino said.
During the period investigated by the BAAQMD, the refinery sent an unknown amount of sulfur and waste oil to be burned at the plant's flare, Mr. Kino said.
This is my 3500th official post.
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