PORT ARTHUR, Texas — A Port Arthur refinery is ordered to pay a $10,000 fine after a government agency said it failed to prevent unauthorized emissions in 2021.
The chemicals released at Premcor Refining Group Inc. lasted for 34 hours and 27 minutes on May 11, 2021, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
The emissions could have been avoided, according to the TCEQ.
The government agency said the emissions occurred due to a design flaw in a level instrument configuration, which is used to make sure tanks are within safe operating limits.
The design flaw caused a tank to overfill and spill into a secondary containment at the Port Arthur refinery. This resulted in pollution being released into the air, TCEQ says.
TCEQ says Premcor Refining Group Inc. released 12,207.9 pounds of pollutants, known as volatile organic compounds, into the atmosphere. The gases include different chemicals that may cause short- and or long-term health effects for people.
The emission discharge limit is 15 pounds of volatile organic compound emissions in one day, or three pounds in one hour from any machines or equipment at a facility, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
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