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EPA Rejects Challenge to Title V Permit for Louisiana Refinery
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On June 16, EPA denied a petition by the community group Concerned Citizens Around Murphy (CCAM) asking the agency to object to a Title V modification permit issued in 2009 by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) for the Meraux Refinery, in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana.  The refinery is operated by Valero Energy Corp., which acquired it from Murphy Oil in 2011. 


CCAM’s 2012 petition for objection was its second concerning the facility’s 2009 permit; an earlier petition submitted in 2009 was granted in part and denied in part.  In its 2012 petition, CCAM requested that EPA object to the modification permit on grounds that LDEQ failed to show that the facility’s emissions would not trigger Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) requirements.  Specifically, the group contended that the netting analysis LDEQ conducted for a unit at the facility only included normal emissions from a flare and “should have included emergency emissions” from that flare, as well, unless such emissions are subject to “legally and practicably enforceable limits.” 

In denying the petition, EPA asserted its belief that the claims in the petition were mooted by subsequent events, including substantial permit changes made after EPA responded to CCAM’s 2009 petition, and due to a 2014 permit renewal that wholly superseded the earlier permits as a legal matter.  The order denying the petition was signed by Administrator McCarthy on May 29, 2015; notice was published in the June 16 Federal Register (80 FR 34407).  View the order denying the petition here.
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