EPA May Withdraw Bush-era Rule, Crack Down on Refinery Emissions

by | Oct 22, 2009

oil refineryThe EPA wants to withdraw a portion of air toxics regulations put in place during the Bush administration, a move that would lead to increased scrutiny of emissions at oil refineries.

EPA says the “residual risk” and technology review portions of the rule do not truly reflect the risk posed by petroleum refinery emissions. The EPA has proposed (PDF) withdrawing the objectionable parts of the rule, which was put in place in the waning days of the Bush administration.

The rule retained 1995-era air toxics standards that environmentalists say underestimate emissions from refineries.

EPA has been stepping up efforts to have refineries gather emissions data, and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that information played into EPA’s decision to propose changing the rule, reports the New York Times.

The rule has been stalled since Jan. 20, when the Obama Adminstration froze all pending rules from the Bush Administration until it could review them.

In other refinery emissions news, EPA has put its stamp of approval on a Bush-era rule that set maximum achievable control technology standards for refinery cooling tower emissions.

The Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Integrity Project applauded the EPA’s moves, while the American Petroleum Institute asserted that emissions data would vindicate the industry, showing that risks from refineries are low.

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