Valero Louisiana refinery's soot pollution surges, exceeds U.S. limit

Refiners and their advocates, including several refinery labor unions, said upgrading the FCCUs would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, lead to refinery layoffs and put pressure on the plants to shut down. Running the wet gas scrubbers would also require excessive water use in an already parched area, they argued.

Nov 11 (Reuters) – A Valero refinery outside of New Orleans recently produced lung-damaging soot at rates that exceeded federal limits while outpacing other major U.S.

refineries, according to disclosures by state and federal environmental regulators.

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NEW YORK, July 21 (Reuters) – Northern California regulators on Wednesday directed two of the state’s largest oil refineries to slash their fine particulate air pollution, which will require costly modifications at the plants.

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OSLO, Nov 27 (Reuters) – Crude oil tanker firm Frontline declared its first dividend in more than two years on Wednesday and said it plans to increase the payout in the fourth quarter as shipping rates continue to rise.

* “Ships with a scrubber are capable of running an almost profitable freight rate, but since the Baltic considers only ships without a scrubber, high fuel costs are really bringing down index readings and time charter equivalent earnings,” said Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at BIMCO.

Chevron and PBF, the refiners expected to be most affected by the rule change, urged regulators to consider a less stringent 0.02 limit by 2023. Valero Energy Corp’s Benicia refinery already has a wet gas scrubber.

“Based on current market conditions, the company expects the board of directors to announce a dividend for the fourth quarter of 2019 … well in excess of the dividend declared for the third,” Frontline wrote in its July-September earnings report.

While Frontline posted a net loss of $10 million for the third quarter, its nine-month result has swung to a profit of $31.2 million from a year-ago loss of $34.3 million. (Reporting by Terje Solsvik; editing by Louise Heavens and Jason Neely)

The August tests at St. Charles showed emissions peaked at 1.2 pounds per 1,000 pounds of coke burned. The average pollution rate under three test conditions, each using different liquid-to-gas ratios in the refinery´s pollution scrubber, was slightly above the EPA limit at 1.02 to 1.04 pounds.

Jan 30 (Reuters) – The capesize component of the Baltic sea freight index plunged to an all-time low on Thursday, hurt by high fuel costs owed to new shipping regulations and a seasonal slowdown worsened by a coronavirus outbreak.

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The dissenting board members cited concerns about refinery-related job losses, the length of time it will take refineries to comply with the 0.01 standard, versus the 0.02 standard, and legal threats by the refiners if the rule change passed.

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Health professionals, environmental groups and other proponents for the rule change said adding wet scrubbers would result in vastly in healthier air, particularly for children, poor residents and people of color disproportionately affected by refinery pollution.

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