Wednesday, November 25, 2009

EPA Responds To Groups' BP Whiting CAA Petition

Nov 25: U.S. EPA issued a Federal Register announcement [74 FR 61678-61679] announcing that the Administrator has responded to a petition submitted by the Environmental Law and Policy Center, Hoosier Environmental Council, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Save the Dunes, Sierra Club, Susan Eleuterio, and Tom Tsourlis (petitioners) asking EPA to object to an operating permit issued by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to the BP Products North America, Inc., Whiting Business Unit (Whiting) [See WIMS 10/20/09]. According to the announcement, the Administrator granted the petition in part and denied it in part. Pursuant to section 505(b)(2) of the Act, a petitioner may seek in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit judicial review of those portions of a petition which EPA denied. Any petition for review shall be filed within 60 days from the date the Federal Register notice, pursuant to section 307 of the Act.

Specifically, the Petitioners allege that: (1) The permit application lacks emission information and calculations critical for determining applicable requirements and setting appropriate limits and conditions; (2) the minor source permit fails to comply with New Source Review requirements because the project is a major modification when all project emissions are properly included; (3) the permit does not include applicable Best Available Control Technology and Lowest Achievable Emission Rate limits for flares and other sources; (4) BP and IDEM failed to conduct the proper greenhouse gas Best Achievable Control Technology analysis; and (5) the permit omits compliance schedules that Title V requires to ensure compliance with all applicable requirements, as supported by the Notice of Violation issued by EPA to BP for its Whiting refinery.

In part, the Administrator rules, "I find that the Petitioners have not demonstrated that the title V operating permit does not comply with the Act. Petitioners have failed to demonstrate that the BP Whiting facility is out of compliance with the requirements addressed in the NOV [Notice of Violation], and that the permit must include a compliance plan and schedule with regard to such requirements. I therefore deny the petition with respect to this issue."

Access the FR announcement (click here). Access the 8/19/08 petition (click here). Access the Administrator's response (click here).