Reducing Environmental Impact to Air, Water & Land
Chevron's Pascagoula Refinery employs effective measures to reduce emissions. These efforts include leak detection and repair, adding secondary seals to many tanks, and continuing to upgrade pollution-control equipment and technology. Additionally, process changes that reduce severity of operating conditions, like temperature and pressure, also contribute to emissions reductions.
Reducing Chemical Emissions
Refinery emissions of SARA or TRI chemicals have decreased 14% since 2010 (baseline year). After adjusting for the Refinery Production Index, emissions decreased 15% from 2010. These numbers show the success of the refinery's continuing effort to reduce toxic emissions. Emissions continue to decline despite the fact that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) list of reportable SARA chemicals in 2009 is twice as large as the original baseline list in 1988 and the fact that the refinery today is more complex than in 1988. Refinery emissions of SARA or TRI chemicals for the five year period between 2005 and 2009 decreased 28% when compared to the previous 5 year period.
NOx and SO2 emissions at Pascagoula have decreased by 62% since 2005. This has been achieved as part of an ongoing effort which includes installation of a state of the art Flare Gas Recovery system, additional tail gas units for Sulfur Recovery plants, installation of pollution controls on existing furnaces, and replacing outdated steam boilers with new equipment with better emissions controls.
The refinery continues to employ new technology and procedures that reduce waste generation or recover waste and transform it into useful products. We reduce waste by decreasing waste sources, recycling, using less hazardous materials, and treating waste inside the refinery.
In September 2009, the Pascagoula Refinery attained a significant environmental milestone. The refinery achieved the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s designation of "Corrective Action Remedy Construction Complete With Controls," known as the CA550. This designation is the culmination of more than 24 years of work investigating and installing technically sound and innovative means of controlling and cleaning waste on refinery property. The refinery has spent more than $44 million on corrective action work of this kind since 1998.
Reducing Hazardous Waste
Since 2010 (baseline year), the refinery has decreased the annual generation of hazardous waste by 11%. This decline has occurred even though the refinery continues to grow and become more complex.
- Approximately 1.4 million barrels of oil is recovered from refinery process water each year and recycled back into our units to be converted to sale-able products.
- Process by-product gas is treated to remove 99.96 percent of its H2S and used as fuel gas, reducing natural gas purchases by approximately 39 billion standard cubic feet per year.
- Approximately 157 billion gallons per year of cooling water is recirculated through the refinery.
- Approximately 1.7 billion gallons per year of condensate recovered from the refinery steam system is reused as boiler feed water.
- Approximately 200 million gallons per year of sour process water are treated to recover approximately 12,000 tons ammonia and 275,000 tons of sulfur. Both chemicals are sold to fertilizer manufacturers. Most of the water is re-used in refinery processes to remove salts.
- CO2, a byproduct of manufacturing H2 from natural gas, is used in the effluent system for pH control, minimizing the need for purchased chemicals.
- 2,059 tons of spent catalyst was recycled in 2011 through metallurgical smelters to recover the metals for reuse in the steel and copper industry.
- 5,686 tons of scrap metal was recycled during 2011.
- Approximately 104,551 barrels of oily solids material was recycled into the refinery process and not sent off site during 2011.
- 87,155 tons of spent acid was sent from the refinery for recycling during 2011.
- 435,215 pounds of paper products were recycled during 2011.
We welcome comments and questions about our environmental policies
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TRI: The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) of 1986 requires the refinery to report an annual Toxic Release Inventory to air, water, and land. The refinery's TRI includes our offsite disposal activities, as well as recycling, treatment, and energy recovery activities. SARA emissions are also commonly referred to as TRI emissions.
2010 Baseline Year: In calculating waste reductions required by government regulations, facilities use a baseline year, which is normally within a few years of the regulation enactment, to serve as a point of comparison. The refinery chose 2010 as the baseline year for toxic chemicals comparison in order to participate in EPA's Voluntary Toxic Emission Reduction Program, known as the 33/50 program.
Refinery Production Index: Used to compare waste minimization from year to year, the Refinery Production Index is a measure of the refinery's rated capacity and complexity.
2010 Baseline Year: In calculating waste reductions required by government regulations, facilities select a baseline year, which is normally within a few years of the regulation enactment, to serve as a point of comparison. The baseline year for our hazardous and non-hazardous waste is 2010, because that is the full year that most of the refinery's generated wastes were defined under the national Resource Conservation & Recover Act (RCRA).