EPA extends comment period on oil refinery regulations

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is giving the public until the end of October to comment on its proposal to restrict toxic air pollution from oil refineries.

The new deadline for public comment submissions is Oct. 28, 60 days past the original deadline of Aug. 29.

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“This will ensure that the public has sufficient time to review and comment on all of the information available, including the proposed rule and other materials in the docket,” the EPA said in a notice scheduled to be published Friday in the Federal Register.

When the agency announced the proposed rules in May, it said they would cut emissions by 5,600 tons a year. The new standards would require monitoring of benzene for the first time, along with new emission control standards for storage tanks and restrictions on flaring during malfunctions.

Eighteen members of Congress petitioned for an extension of the original 60-day comment period, along with the American Petroleum Institute, the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers and fuel refinery companies like Phillips 66 Co. and Exxon Mobil Corp.