Energy & Environment

EPA proposes tweaks to oil refinery pollution rules

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a series of changes to pollution rules for oil refineries that it says would save the industry $11.5 million a year.

The EPA characterized the changes, sought by the oil industry, as technical corrections and clarifications to the Obama administration’s 2015 rule setting new standards to prevent air pollution at refineries.

The changes proposed Tuesday concern provisions in the 2015 rule related to issues like work practices, recordkeeping and compliance reporting.

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“These common-sense actions provide regulatory clarity and certainty for refineries across the country,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a statement. “The proposed amendments simplify compliance with national standards, generate significant cost savings, and ultimately enhance protection of human health and the environment.”

The oil industry welcomed the changes as an endorsement of its safety and environmental record.

“EPA’s practical clarification to the language of the refinery rule’s regulatory requirements is a positive step that can help reduce uncertainty, while meeting our shared goal to protect public health,” Howard Feldman, senior director of regulatory affairs at the American Petroleum Institute, said in a statement.

“Balanced, effective refinery regulations allow our industry to invest in production of cleaner fuels and in our facilities in order to improve environmental performance.”

The American Fuel and Petrochemicals Manufacturers (AFPM) was also pleased.

“AFPM appreciates EPA’s decision to establish clarity and make the necessary improvements to the refinery sector rule, which has been the subject of ongoing uncertainty in recent years,” the group said in a statement.

“Today’s action is another important step towards bringing needed balance to regulations, while maintaining protections for human health and the environment.”

Tags Environmental Protection Agency oil refineries Scott Pruitt

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