Nothing Could Be Finer Than to Clean Up a Refiner
Oil refineries across the U.S. spew an estimated 80 million pounds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air unreported each year, the equivalent of pollutants from 5 million new cars, according to a report by the House Government Oversight Committee’s Democratic staff. Much of the VOC pollution, which is a key ingredient in smog, could be stopped by simply tightening valves with a wrench, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said yesterday. In a broader investigation, the EPA has found that up to half of the nation’s oil refineries are guilty of illegal air emissions. The agency is currently holding settlement talks with several oil companies and is prepared to sue if necessary to get the refineries cleaned up.