The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a final notice of decision for the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) for greenhouse gas (GHG) construction permit for the ExxonMobil Olefins Plant in Baytown, Texas. The company proposes to construct a new ethylene production unit consisting of eight ethylene cracking furnaces and recovery equipment to produce polymer-grade ethylene.
“We are working to control greenhouse gas emissions and promote clean energy in the new projects coming to communities across Texas,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “These projects show that economic development and environmental protection can go hand-in-hand.”
On Nov. 25, 2013, EPA issued a final permit to the facility. The permit was appealed to EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board, which denied review of the petition on May 14, 2014. On May 14, EPA finalized the permit allowing ExxonMobil to begin construction of the project. The project is part of a multibillion-dollar expansion project in Baytown. It’s estimated to create 10,000 construction jobs and 350 permanent jobs.
“ExxonMobil’s petrochemical expansion, enabled by growing supplies of shale energy, will create thousands of new jobs and boost the Houston area economy and tax revenues by nearly a billion dollars a year. This export-oriented project is a powerful example of how shale energy can revitalize the U.S. economy in an environmentally responsible manner,” said Stephen D. Pryor, president, ExxonMobil Chemical Company.
In June 2010, EPA finalized national GHG regulations, which specify that beginning on January 2, 2011, projects that increase GHG emissions substantially will require an air permit.
EPA believes states are best equipped to run GHG air permitting programs. Texas is working with EPA to replace a federal implementation plan with its own state program, which will eliminate the need for businesses to seek air permits from EPA. This action will increase efficiency and allow for industry to continue to grow in Texas.
EPA has finalized 37 GHG permits in Texas, proposed an additional 10 permits, and currently has over 21 additional GHG permit applications under review and permit development in Texas.
For all of the latest information on GHG permits in Texas please visit: http://yosemite.epa.gov/r6/Apermit.nsf/AirP
SOURCE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)