EPA approves Flint Hills refinery upgrade in Texas
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a final greenhouse gas (GHG) Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) construction permit to Flint Hills Resources in Corpus Christi, Texas, to modify an existing petroleum refinery.
The $600 million project was originally announced by Flint Hills in August 2012, with the company submitting permit applications in December 2012.
The approval will allow Flint Hills to modify equipment at its 230,000 bpd West refinery in Corpus Christi to help it take advantage of processing more crude oils from the nearby Eagle Ford shale.
Modifying the facility will employ up to 2,000 people, with 36 permanent employees expected. The permit became effective immediately upon signature.
In June 2010, EPA finalized national GHG regulations, which specified that beginning on January 2, 2011, projects that increase GHG emissions substantially will require an air permit.
The EPA says it believes states are best equipped to run GHG air permitting programs. Texas officials are currently working with EPA to replace a federal implementation plan with an individual state program, which would eliminate the need for businesses to seek air permits from EPA.
EPA has finalized 39 GHG permits in Texas, proposed an additional 10 permits, and currently has over 22 additional GHG permit applications under review and permit development in Texas.
Flint Hills operates a 70,000 bpd East refinery in Corpus Christi.
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