Friday, March 17, 2006

British Petroleum fixin' to be $130 K lighter

British Petroleum over in Texas City is about to get kicked in the teeth for polluting the air.


Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch, whose shoddy operation led to the explosion deaths of 15 workers and injuries to 170 others at BP's Texas City refinery a year ago next week.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is levying a $130,625 penalty for the air violations, under the terms of an "agreed order."

Here's the fine print, taken from the Secretary of State's Texas Register:

(4) COMPANY: BP Products North America Inc.; DOCKET NUMBER: 2005-1839-AIR-E; IDENTIFIER: RN102535077; LOCATION: Texas City, Galveston County, Texas; TYPE OF FACILITY: refinery; RULE VIOLATED: 30 TAC §111.111(a)(1)(A), §116.115(c), Air Permit Numbers 8810 and PSD-TX-402M2, C-18706, 18707, 19599, and PSD-TX-023, and THSC, §382.085(b), by failing to prevent the unauthorized release of air contaminants into the atmosphere and failing to maintain opacity at 30% averaged over a six-minute period; 30 TAC §101.20(2), §115.352(4), 40 Code of Federal Regulations §63.167(a)(1), and THSC, §382.085(b), by failing to equip an open-ended line with a cap, blind flange, or second valve; and 30 TAC §116.116(a) and THSC, §382.085(b), by failing to prevent the unauthorized release of air contaminants into the atmosphere; PENALTY: $130,625; ENFORCEMENT COORDINATOR: Suzanne Walrath, (512) 239-2134; REGIONAL OFFICE: 5425 Polk Avenue, Suite H, Houston, Texas 77023-1486, (713) 767-3500.

[The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ or commission) staff is providing an opportunity for written public comment on the listed Agreed Orders (AOs) in accordance with Texas Water Code (the Code), §7.075, which requires that the commission may not approve these AOs unless the public has been provided an opportunity to submit written comments. Section 7.075 requires that notice of the proposed orders and the opportunity to comment must be published in the Texas Register no later than the 30th day before the date on which the public comment period closes, which in this case is April 17, 2006 . Section 7.075 also requires that the commission promptly consider any written comments received and that the commission may withhold approval of an AO if a comment discloses facts or considerations that indicate the proposed AO is inappropriate, improper, inadequate, or inconsistent with the requirements of the Code, the Texas Health and Safety Code (THSC), and/or the Texas Clean Air Act (the Act). Additional notice is not required if changes to an AO are made in response to written comments.]

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