December 20, 2008 at 11:16 am #3270
Court ruling could clamp down on Calif. refinery emissions
Los Angeles Times 12/19/2008 – Toxic air pollution spikes from California’s 21 refineries may be sharply curtailed following a U.S. Court of Appeals decision in Washington on Friday.
In a suit brought by the Sierra Club and other groups, the court struck down a 14-year-old federal regulation that allowed refineries, chemical plants and other industrial plants to exceed pollution limits during start-ups, shut-downs and equipment outages.
The lawsuit also accused industrial complexes in Texas and Louisiana of unnecessarily emitting large quantities of toxic gases.
Public health advocates in Southern California’s oil refinery hub hailed the decision, saying facilities routinely operate in malfunction mode to evade pollution caps.
“We are elated,” said Jesse Marquez, head of the Los Angeles-based Coalition for a Safe Environment, a plaintiff in the suit.
The Environmental Protection Agency regulation amounted to a “gaping loophole” according to the plaintiffs, represented by Earthjustice, a nonprofit law firm. “Under this notorious exemption, industrial facilities have been allowed to operate like a fleet of junk cars parked in neighborhoods, spewing smoke, misfiring, stalling and chugging,” said Marti Sinclair, a Sierra Club official.
A 2004 report by the Washington-based Environmental Integrity Project, titled Gaming the System: How the Off-the-Books Industrial Upset Emissions Cheat the Public Out of Clean Air, detailed how the 1994 regulations allowed facilities to emit tens of millions of pounds of excess toxic pollutants annually.
The Earthjustice lawsuit described clouds of toxic pollutants from refineries near the Port of Los Angeles during power outages in 2005 and 2007. The refineries could not be prosecuted because of the EPA regulation, the suit said.
December 20, 2008 at 11:20 am #6392
Here is LA Times article on latest (perhaps our own version of Obama Christmas futures to come?) Environmental nonsense.
There needs to be an award for stupidity of this level – this is real cause of US financial & economic problems. A liberal US court system running hand in hand with liberal NIMBY groups like Serria club & Earthjustice against US industry & its workers.
A startup mode in any plant is critical operation where units are not in chemical or thermal balance & pass thru critical zones (hence higher fires/accidents/ect)- no one takes 60-100 year old plant (due block on new ones by stupid NIMBY’s like these) thru this phase just escape emission caps & only idiots would think that way.
California is going to wonder why they run out of gas at pumps soon – not understanding link between reduced production but continued consumption. (Remember when they forced Shell refinery into shutting down then put restraining order to prevent it because of critical supply issues? – from the Nimby Christmas past)
Meanwhile environmental led actions like Kyoto makes it ok for China plants to puke out 10X emissions as US refineries. I guess that is NIMBY heaven?
December 23, 2008 at 9:33 am #6388
i hope they bottle the genie and tear down the flares… then we will see how long until they find out the genie can come out the flare or out the side of a tower!!!
I sure hope these dummys were wearing potato bags for clothes and walked to the court, all the while eating nuts and berries they found along the way.. seeing if they did it any other way they would have had to use some product that came from the plants they are trying to shutdown.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.