Reaches Major Air Pollution Settlement
ConocoPhillips to Spend
$60 Million to Reduce Pollution at Bayway Refinery
(05/05) TRENTON -- Attorney General Peter C. Harvey and
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley
M. Campbell today announced that New Jersey, the federal government
and several other states have reached a settlement with ConocoPhillips
Company. The settlement will require the company to install major
new pollution controls at the Bayway Refinery in Linden and at
ten other refineries located throughout the United States.
"This settlement means cleaner, healthier air for all of
New Jersey," said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. "We're
holding companies outside our borders accountable and will continue
to work with companies here to fight pollution."
Representatives of the New Jersey Attorney General's Office and
DEP negotiated provisions that will require ConocoPhilips to spend
approximately $60 million on upgrades that will substantially
reduce harmful air pollution from the Bayway Refinery. Deputy
Attorney General Scott B. Dubin and DEP Administrator for Air
Compliance and Enforcement Edward M. Choromanski negotiated for
"This agreement will have a real impact on the lives of
many New Jersey residents by substantially reducing air pollution
from the Bayway Refinery," said Attorney General Harvey.
"We negotiated $60 million in new pollution controls, which
will decrease harmful emissions that threaten the health of people
in the area, particularly children with asthma and senior citizens
with respiratory ailments."
"Today's announcement signifies a tremendous step forward
for public health and environmental protection in New Jersey's
most densely populated areas," said Commissioner Campbell.
"By requiring ConocoPhillips to improve the Bayway facility,
the State of New Jersey and the federal government will reduce
the public's exposure to particles that cause asthma, cardiovascular
disease and respiratory distress.
The settlement requires ConocoPhillips to control the highest
sources of emissions at the Bayway refinery. The pollution control
measures are expected to reduce odors.
Reduction of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions
The settlement will reduce the Bayway refinery's annual volatile
organic compound (VOC) emissions by more than 50 tons. Bayway
currently emits more VOCs than the second- and third-largest New
Jersey refineries combined.
As part of an effort to reduce emissions of VOCs such as benzene,
ConocoPhillips will install a cover on the Bayway refinery's wastewater
separator by December 2008. The installation of this cover, which
will cost at least $8 million, will reduce VOC emissions at the
water treatment unit by 95 percent. The facility failed to have
an approved plan to control ninety of emissions of VOCs, in violation
of state regulations. DEP would approve a new plan that ConocoPhillips
must submit that will be based on actions required under the settlement.
Reduction of Emissions of Nitrogen Oxides and Sulfur Dioxide
ConocoPhillips must install new pollution controls that will
reduce by approximately 1,300 tons per year the refinery's emissions
of nitrogen oxides (NOx), which contribute to the formation of
ozone and thereby aggravate respiratory ailments such as asthma.
In addition, ConocoPhillips will install a new fuel gas system
that will reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) by thousands
of tons per year. The required measures also will reduce emissions
of fine nitrate and sulfate particles which, when inhaled, can
cause or contribute to respiratory distress, cardiovascular disease
and premature death.
Summary of Pollution Control Measures Mandated by the Settlement
According to the settlement, ConocoPhillips will take the following
actions at Bayway:
- Install a cover on wastewater separator or a new covered
separator, and controls, by December 2008. This measure, which
will cost at least $8 million, will reduce emissions of VOCs
at the treatment unit by 95 percent.
- Install a new fuel gas system by December 2010 to burn cleaner
natural gas instead of fuel oil, reducing SO2 emissions by thousands
of tons per year. This will cost $28 million to $38 million.
- Install new pollution controls on heaters and boilers by
December 2010 at cost of $20 million, reducing annual NOx emissions
by approximately 900 tons.
- Enhance pollution controls on a unit that converts crude
oil into gasoline by December 2006, reducing annual NOx emissions
by approximately 400 tons.
- Reduce emissions of VOCs by implementing an enhanced leak
detection and repair program.
- Reduce VOC and acid gas emissions by minimizing flaring,
the uncontrolled burning of emissions that bypass controls.
- Audit and reduce toxic benzene emissions.
The other parties to the settlement regarding violations of
state and federal air pollution laws are the United States, through
the Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency,
as well as Pennsylvania, Illinois, Louisiana and the Northwest
Clean Air Agency in Washington State.
Today's Consent Decree and Complaint were filed in the U.S.
District Court in Houston, Texas. The Consent Decree is subject
to a public comment period and final court approval.