Category Archives: anti-pollution measures

Sequoia smog harming pines, redwoods

More evidence of the harm to our natural heritage caused by human activities. So what is more important? That a polluting factory or gunk-emitting tanker truck be allowed to keep on moving? Or the native flora and fauna of North America? Well?

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Oops; N.J. refinery to spend $45M on pollution controls; pay penalty

Hess Corporation to Install $45 Million In Pollution Controls and Pay $850,000 Penalty to Resolve Clean Air Act Violations at New Jersey Refinery

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Hess Corporation has agreed to pay an $850,000 civil penalty and spend more than $45 million in new pollution controls to resolve Clean Air Act violations at its Port Reading, N.J., refinery. Once fully implemented, the controls required by the settlement are estimated to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx) by 181 tons per year and result in additional reductions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). High concentrations of NOx and VOCs, key pollutants emitted from refineries, can have adverse impacts on human health, including contributing to childhood asthma, and are significant contributors to smog.

“EPA is committed to protecting communities by reducing air pollution from the largest sources,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “This settlement will reduce harmful emissions that impact air quality, protecting the residents of Port Reading and New Jersey.”

“This settlement is the 31st such agreement with petroleum refineries across the nation. Hess joins a growing list of corporations who have entered into comprehensive and innovative agreements with the United States that will result in cleaner, healthier air for communities across the nation,” said Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice. “For example, this agreement will improve air quality for New Jersey residents by requiring Hess to install advanced pollution control and monitoring technology and adopt more stringent emissions limits.”   

The settlement requires new and upgraded pollution controls, more stringent emission limits, and aggressive monitoring, leak-detection and repair practices to reduce emissions from refinery equipment and processing units.

The government’s complaint, filed on April 19, 2012, alleged that the company made modifications to its refinery that increased emissions without first obtaining pre-construction permits and installing required pollution control equipment. The Clean Air Act requires major sources of air pollution to obtain such permits before making changes that would result in a significant emissions increase of any pollutant.

The state of New Jersey actively participated in the settlement with Hess and will receive half of the civil penalty.

The settlement with Hess is the 31st under an EPA initiative to improve compliance among petroleum refiners and to reduce significant amounts of air pollution from refineries nationwide through comprehensive, company-wide enforcement settlements. The first of these settlements was reached in 2000. With today’s settlement, 108 refineries operating in 32 states and territories – more than 90 percent of the total refining capacity in the United States – are under judicially enforceable agreements to significantly reduce emissions of pollutants. As a result of the settlement agreements, refiners have agreed to invest more than $6 billion in new pollution controls designed to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and other pollutants by over 360,000 tons per year.

Going green, but gong nowhere

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/08/opinion/going-green-but-getting-nowhere.html?_r=1&emc=tnt&tntemail1=y

The military’s new campaign: Cutting its energy costs

This renewed look at saving whee the electricity and motor fuel gauges run is hardly a new initiative. I recall, with fond memories, my boss, the commander of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing (now just 8th Fighter Wing) one day dispatching a base photo lab cameraman to spend a day traveling around Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, for a day in late 985, with instructions to find and photograph every outside light he found burning bright in the bright Korea sun. A few days later, the photographer’s work of several dozen shots was shown during a a wing staff meeting. The offending units knew who they were without further elaboration. That day, and continuing into the next, those dozens upon dozens of outside lights shining over parking lots, alleyways, wash-racks, etc., had been extinguished and the base’s electricity bill fell substantially. This article, from the Norfolk, Va., Virginian Pilot paper, takes a new and refreshing look at the whole energy conservation activity across each of the four military services. And don’t tell U.S. Sen. James Inhofe this, but the article in a paper serving a huge active-duty and retired military audience mentions “greenhouse gases.”

Op-ed: Will Congress undo 40 years of environmental progress?

If votes and campaign contributions are to be gained by doing so, it wouldn’t surprise this conservationist. After all, contributors of campaign war-chest dollars aren’t just being nice by forking over big money, they expect results, and they often get those results — all for the purpose of making more money, period. Read this great op-ed by two former EPA administrators.

Clean air advocates to EPA: Reject permit for coal-fired plant

The proposed carbon dioxide belcher is called Sunflower and the proposed site is in Kansas. This article explains the issue in detail.

I heard this on NPR this morning. This is sort of bread-and-butter stuff that Dubya should’ve been doing all along. And it’s the kind of thing he tried to hide late in his second term behind the marine sanctuary designations and some other PR crap:

Obama will allow California and thirteen other states decide for themselves how strict to be about automobile emissions.