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Thirteen refineries in the US exceeded benzene emissions limits in 2020

May 07/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Thirteen US oil refineries released the cancer-causing chemical benzene in concentrations that exceeded federal limits last year, reported Reuters with reference to government data published by the green group Environmental Integrity Project (EIP).

The study is based on the second full year of data reported by US refineries since the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2015 began requiring continuous monitoring of air pollutants around plants to protect nearby communities, many of which are disproportionately poor, Black and Hispanic.

In 2019, eleven refineries made the list, EIP said.

For eight of the 13 refineries, benzene levels exceeded the EPA standard of nine micrograms per cubic meter of air at the fencelines at the end of every quarter in 2020, according to the report.

When refineries monitor results that exceed the action level, the program requires them to undertake root cause analyses and corrective actions to reduce benzene, the EPA said in a statement.

The agency said it was "committed to reducing benzene and other air toxic emissions from refineries and protecting those communities most at risk from air toxics."

Louisiana was home to five of the refineries on the EIP list -the largest share of any U.S. state, according to the report.

The highest emitter of benzene in 2020 was Delek's Krotz Springs, Louisiana refinery, which averaged more than 31 micrograms per cubic meter last year - more than three times the EPA's action level, according to EIP.

A spokesperson for the refinery said the company had implemented a number of measures in September 2020 to reduce benzene emissions, and anticipates the rolling 12-month average will fall below nine micrograms per cubic meter by this summer.

Four other refineries on the list were in Louisiana - PBF Chalmette, Phillips 66 Lake Charles, Phillips 66 Alliance, and Shell Norco.

In neighboring Texas, Total Port Arthur, Marathon Galveston Bay, and Citgo Corpus Christi East exceeded the federal level. Other refineries included Shell Chemical Mobile in Alabama, HollyFrontier Lovington and HollyFrontier Artesia in New Mexico, and Marathon Catlettsburg in Kentucky.

As MRC informed earlier, Marathon Petroleum is at an impasse in negotiations with the local Teamsters union at its 104,000 barrel-per-day St. Paul Park, Minnesota, refinery. Marathon said in a letter dated April 29 the two parties are at an impasse with respect to "non-starter" proposals made by the union and other proposals made in the refiner's last, best and final offer the union in March.

Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 576,270 tonnes in the first three month of 2021, up by 4% year on year. Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) shipments increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 410,890 tonnes in January-March 2021, up by 56% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, PP block copolymer, homopolymer PP, propylene, LDPE, HDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, Citgo petroleum corporation, Delek Tyler Refinery, Marathon, Phillips 66, Shell, Total Petrochemicals, Russia, USA.
Category:General News
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