reducing environmental impact to air, water and land
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) and Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions at Pascagoula have decreased by 76 percent 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
• replacing outdated steam boilers with new equipment with better emissions controls
The refinery continues to seek opportunities to reduce Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) emissions. The refinery manages several inspection and repair programs for various types of equipment such as valves, pumps, cooling towers, and tanks. Vapor recovery systems are used to control VOC emissions from loading operations at the wharf and marketing terminal. Lastly, emissions from toxic chemicals are reduced by using, devices such as carbon absorption canisters. These canisters control toxics such as benzene.
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 reprocessing materials 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 32 years of work investigating and installing technically sound and innovative means of controlling and cleaning waste on refinery property. The refinery has spent approximately $100 million on corrective action work of this kind since 1998.
In order to reduce the amount of waste generated the refinery practices the process of recycling on numerous process streams. Several examples of these recycling practices are listed below:
- 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 174 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 470 million gallons per year of sour process water are treated to recover approximately 19,000 tons ammonia and 365,000 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
- Approximately 3000 tons of spent catalyst are recycled each year through metallurgical smelters to recover the metals for reuse in the steel and copper industry
- Approximately 3500 tons of scrap metal are recycled each year
- Approximately 150,000 barrels of oily solids material are recycled into the refinery processes and not sent off site as waste each year
- Approximately 9500 tons of spent acid are sent from the refinery for recycling each year
- Approximately 250,000 pounds of paper products are recycled each year
- Approximately 1,500 yards of waste concrete are recycled each year
In 2015, the EPA published a rule requiring all petroleum refineries to conduct monitoring for benzene emissions along facility fencelines beginning in 2018. In accordance with EPA guidance, Chevron’s Pascagoula Refinery has conducted monitoring and reported its initial readings through the first quarter of 2019 to the EPA. This data became available to the public through the EPA beginning June 14, 2019.
The Pascagoula Refinery collects air samples from 22 fixed locations around the property. The refinery exceeded the action level, performed the required root cause analysis and is taking the necessary corrective action. The corrective action is having the desired effect of decreasing emissions.
Protecting people and the environment is one of Chevron’s core values, and we strive to operate safely and responsibly in all our locations. As long-time community partners in Jackson County, we are committed to continuing to improve this site’s environmental performance.
Air sampling and reporting to the EPA is a continuous process, and new data for 2019 will continue to be provided to and available via the EPA.
For more information about the EPA Petroleum Refinery Fenceline Monitoring rule, visit the EPA's reporting website.