by Staff Writers
New York (AFP) Oct 31, 2017
ExxonMobil will spend $300 million to upgrade eight US chemical facilities and resolve allegations it spewed excess emissions of benzene and other dangerous chemicals into the air, US regulators announced Tuesday.
The US petroleum giant will install new pollution controls and monitoring equipment at plants in Texas and Louisiana, according to a consent decree announced by the Justice Department, the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.
ExxonMobil also will pay a $2.5 million civil penalty.
"This settlement will improve air quality in Texas and Louisiana by eliminating thousands of tons of harmful air pollution each year," said acting assistant attorney general Jeffrey Wood of the Justice Department's environment and natural resources division.
The settlement comes after regulators charged that ExxonMobil failed to properly operate and monitor industrial flares, leading to excess emissions from the units, the Justice Department said in a news release.
Industrial flares are used at such chemical sites to burn off excess chemicals. Well-run flares do better at combusting harmful pollutants, such as benzene, a human carcinogen, and volatile organic compounds, which can exacerbate asthma and other respiratory ills.
As part of the settlement, ExxonMobil will upgrade flares at 26 industrial flares at the Texas and Louisiana plants, a shift that is expected to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds by 7,000 tons a year and toxic air pollutants by 1,500 tons a year, regulators said.
The settlement requires the company to spend $1 million on a project to plant trees as a buffer to airborne pollutants.
Boulder CO (SPX) Oct 26, 2017
A rash of earthquakes in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico recorded between 2008 and 2010 was likely due to fluids pumped deep underground during oil and gas wastewater disposal, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study. The study, which took place in the 2,200-square-mile Raton Basin along the central Colorado-northern New Mexico border, found more than 1,800 earthquakes up ... read more
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