"Oil Refinery Group Sues EPA Over Request for Emissions Data"

"An oil and gas trade group has taken the rare step of challenging a U.S. EPA information request, saying the agency is seeking too much data as it revisits a George W. Bush-era analysis of refineries' cancer-causing emissions.

In its effort to update toxic pollution limits that date back to 1995, EPA has asked refineries to estimate their emissions of benzene and other carcinogenic chemicals, as well as pollutants that form soot and smog. The agency has long required refineries to use pollution controls to prevent such emissions, but now, it's doing a 'residual risk review' to figure out whether remaining emissions give people an additional one-in-a-million chance of getting cancer.

The American Petroleum Institute filed a lawsuit yesterday in federal court to challenge the data request, which could provide the underpinnings for a stricter set of pollution rules.

By ordering data from all 152 U.S. refineries, rather than just a sample, EPA's February request will waste the oil industry's time and money, API attorney John Wagner said. The agency is seeking an 'unprecedented' amount of information from each refinery, and wants it sooner than the owners can manage, he wrote in an email statement."

Gabriel Nelson reports for Greenwire June 1, 2011.

Thursday, June 2, 2011