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Petroleum refineries can overwhelm the neighborhoods around them with ozone-forming pollutants and carcinogens like benzene. Ozone, popularly known as smog, triggers asthma attacks and other respiratory ailments, and is especially hazardous to children and the elderly. Benzene and volatile organic compounds are released in substantial quantities from many petrochemical plants. Most of the emissions of these toxic chemicals come from flares, tanks, leaking process units, and other sources that are notoriously difficult to measure.
Oil will continue to play a critical role in our nation’s economy in the near future. Our goal is to protect local communities from having to pay the price for our nation’s endless appetite for gasoline. EIP pressures refineries to both measure and clean up their emissions, and gives communities a voice in decisions that affect their health and quality of life. We help citizens require that refineries use only the cleanest technologies when they are expanding, accurately account for their emissions, and minimize hazardous air emissions released during routine maintenance.
EIP has identified crucial data gaps that prevent the public from participating in the regulatory processes that are designed to protect their health and safeguard the environment. Our staff helps grassroots organizations review and, where necessary, challenge refinery permits proposed by federal and state agencies, and works with those agencies to improve the monitoring of toxic pollutants and greenhouse gases from refineries.
2011 EIP/NRDC/AAH Technical Refinery Conference Agenda and Materials
A Handbook for Citizen Participation in the Permitting of Oil Refineries under the New Source Review Provisions of the Clean Air Act.