Exxon Mobil Air Quality Violations
You may recall that oil and gas producer Exxon Mobil Corp. reported record earnings in 2005 and 2006. Announced in April 2007, ExxonMobil's first quarter net income was $9,280 million, up 10% from the first quarter of 2006.
Now the manufacturer of fuels,
lubes and chemicals has agreed to pay California some $400,000
in penalties to for violations of the air-permit restrictions
at the company's largest refinery on the West Coast.
The California petroleum refinery primarily gets its heavy crude oil supply from the San Joaquin Valley. More than 70 percent of each barrel is refined into high quality, specially formulated low emissions gasoline and sold in Southern California, Arizona and Nevada. According to available data, the Torrance refinery can process 148,500 barrels of crude a day into gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other products.
Based in Irving, Exxon Mobil has also agreed to pay up to $2 million on an emissions reduction plan on the Torrance plant. The plan would cut excessive emissions of carbon dioxide, and other pollutants combined of volatile organic compounds. An Exxon Mobil plant in Beaumont, Texas may become subjected to a $136,200 penalty proposed by the TSCEQ (Texas State Commission on Environmental Quality) alleging violations of health, safety and water codes according to a recent company filing. The petroleum producer has been accused of failing to comply with permit requirements for storage-tank maintenance at a Beaumont facility. According to the filing, the matter has been referred to the TSCEQ litigation group.
Exxon Mobil Texas
Exxon Mobil operates several (fossil fuel) oil and gas related production facilities in Texas. The Beaumont Chemical Specialty Plant produces polyalphaolefins, the base stock for advanced synthetic lubricants. The Beaumont Olefins and Aromatics Plant converts Ethylene into make a wide range of household, commercial and industrial products. This is done by upgrading refinery feed streams to benzene and paraxylene using proprietary ExxonMobil technologies.
Ethylene can be converted into polyethylene to make plastic bags and bottles, plastic films, toys, and household items. Ethylene can also be used to make other derivative chemicals that go into the making of synthetic lubricants, antifreeze, pain, polyester fibers and resins, polystyrene packaging, electrical components, polishes, medical products, PVC pipes, upholstery, luggage and more. Exxon Mobil operates a low-pressure Polyethylene Plant in Beaumont, Texas.
Exxon Mobil Environmental Penalties
According to filings, the recent monies paid by Exxon Mobil Torrance are by no means the first to cover environmental violations. A failure in a sulfur-recovery unit at the Torrance plant triggered a shutdown of some refining equipment and the release of nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide and other substances, according to an Exxon Mobil spokesperson. Exxon Mobil agreed to a $250,000 penalty for the March 22nd incident. The company paid an additional $150,000 to settle 23 air-permit and air-quality violations that occurred between Oct. 12, 2005, and Oct. 17, 2006, also at the Torrance facility. The settlements were reached with the AQMD (South Coast Air Quality Management District). In September, 2004, ExxonMobil Oil Corp. paid $8.25 million this week to the AQMD to settle numerous air quality violations at the company's Torrance refinery and Terminal Island facility. The fine was reported to be one of the region's largest air pollution penalties, covering violations during the period January 2001 through May 2004. Similar to the recent Beaumont facility situation, the Torrance facility violations were for improper inspection and maintenance of large, above-ground tanks used to store gasoline and other petroleum-based liquids; and for leaks of smog-forming volatile organic compounds from those tanks and other equipment.
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