EPA Fines Texas Refinery $2.9 Million For Clean Air Act Violations

Total Petrochemical USA will spend $37 million to upgrade facility and reduce emissions.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday that Total Petrochemical USA Inc. (Total) will pay a $2.9 million penalty and upgrade pollution controls at its Port Arthur, Texas refinery, to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act.

It will cost Total approximately $37 million to make the changes to its facility to reduce annual emissions of nitrogen oxides by more than 180 tons, sulfur dioxide by more than 800 tons, and carbon monoxide by more than 120 tons.

Total has agreed to upgrade leak detection and repair practices and to implement programs to minimize the flaring of hazardous gases, which can cause serious respiratory problems and exacerbate asthma. Total will also adopt strategies to ensure the proper handling of benzene wastewater, which is a byproduct of processing operations at the refinery.

The settlement also includes a Supplemental Environmental Project that requires Total to test new infrared camera technology to detect equipment leaks. These equipment leaks may contain emissions that contribute to ground-level ozone and smog.