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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
April 18, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
NJ Department of Environmental Protection
-
Bradley M. Campbell, Commissioner

 

Erin Phalon, DEP
609-984-1795
Peter Aseltine, OAG
609-292-4791

 

New Jersey Announces Valero Settlement Addressing Air Violations
Company will Pay Almost $800,000 in Fines and Implement Major Emission Reductions

 

TRENTON –New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell and Attorney General Peter C. Harvey today announced an Administrative Consent Order (ACO) with Valero Refining Company - New Jersey settling air emission violations at its Paulsboro refinery that occurred between 2001 and 2004.

“New Jersey citizens have a basic right to breathe clean air,” Acting Governor Richard J. Codey said. “Polluters need to stand up and take notice that we are serious about improving air quality and reducing the number of asthma cases throughout our state.”

“Today’s settlement is a tremendous victory for New Jersey and will significantly improve air quality,” said Commissioner Campbell. “The controls being installed at Valero’s Paulsboro refinery will reduce the public’s exposure to hazardous air pollutants, such as carcinogenic benzene, and to sulfur dioxide that contributes to asthma and acid rain.”

The company has agreed to pay $793,000 in fines as well as to install several emission controls that will significantly reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2).

“This settlement will remove hundreds of tons of noxious pollutants from the air and will protect the health of New Jersey residents, particularly children with asthma and seniors with respiratory ailments,” said Attorney General Harvey. “It represents another significant step in our efforts to control air pollution from in-state sources. At the same time, we are aggressively pursuing enforcement actions against out-of-state pollution sources, as exemplified by our recent settlement with Ohio Edison concerning a huge coal-fired power plant on the Ohio River.”

Under the ACO, Valero will install a $3.5 million, state-of-the-art air pollution control at the Paulsboro refinery waste water treatment system to reduce VOC emissions by 95 percent, including benzene and other hazardous air pollutants. Annual VOC emissions at the waste water treatment plant will decline by approximately 150 tons.

Valero also agreed to meet the enhanced requirements for benzene waste reduction at its Paulsboro refinery. By changing its management practices, the Paulsboro refinery will eliminate almost six tons of stray benzene emissions annually.

The Paulsboro facility will also implement the VOC enhanced leak detection and repair (LDAR) program. This will further reduce stray VOC emissions from the facility. The enhanced program cuts VOC concentration in half from what is now required under the current federal LDAR program.

Valero has already installed a state-of-the-art emissions control scrubber system at the Paulsboro refinery that is the first of its kind in North America and the second of its kind in the world. This system began operation in October 2004 and is reducing SO2 emissions by over 1,000 tons annually.

In addition, Valero has agreed to install still further technologies on its boilers and heaters at the Paulsboro facility to meet federal standards that are not currently applicable to these units. These technologies will reduce annual SO2 emissions by at least another 500 tons beyond the reductions already achieved by the scrubber system."

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