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U.S., Delaware Amend Motiva Consent Decree

Release Date: 8/5/2003
Contact Information: David Sternberg 215-814-5548

Contact: David Sternberg 215-814-5548
PHILADELPHIA - The United States Department of Justice today filed a proposed amendment to a consent decree with Motiva Enterprises LLC which will reduce sulfur dioxide and potentially nitrogen oxide emissions from the company’s Delaware City refinery even more than originally planned.

Today’s proposed amendment provides additional reductions in air emissions beyond those required under the basic consent agreement two and a half years ago.

The amendment was filed in U. S. District Court in Houston, Texas, today after being approved by EPA, the U. S. Department of Justice, and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC).

Today’s proposal also would extend the deadline for the company to install the necessary equipment. This recognizes that design and installation of regenerative scrubbers require substantial lead time before the scrubbers come online in 2006.

Emission controls will be installed on two processes, a fluid catalytic cracking unit, which breaks apart petroleum molecules so they can be refined into fuels, and the fluid coker unit, which then captures dirty, heavier materials for secondary processing into products like asphalt. Both units will have a sulfur dioxide scrubber to capture SO2.

One significant environmental improvement in today’s amendment is that both sulfur dioxide scrubbers will have to meet the goal of fewer emissions. The basic agreement had allowed one scrubber to emit more sulfur dioxide than the other.

Motiva’s revised scrubber design is expected to remove up to 1570 tons per year more SO2 emissions than under the original consent decree.

Another improvement of today’s proposal will be the potential for increased reductions in NOx. It requires new NOx control and limit setting practices at the Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit and includes provisions for Motiva to examine other NOx reduction technologies which may lead to greater cuts in emissions than in the original consent decree.

Today’s filing of the proposed amendment is subject to a 30-day comment period and will not be final until signed and entered by the court.