Permit Applications Filed By BP Reflect Larger, Longer Operations / Facebook post, Whatcom Hawk, Wendy Harris

bp application 081417

Click the graphic to access a full copy of BP’s 08/14/17, Notice of Construction and Permit Application with the Northwest Clean Air Agency

4:40am  September 4, 2017  Wendy Harris

New compressors and ancillary equipment are all the rage at Cherry Point, with BP’s application following on the heels of the Petrogas application. BP asserts that this equipment exceeds the air quality standards and reduces pollution. Oh, and they are also asking, in addition to this new construction, for approval of other pollution reducing equipment for the Flare Gas Recovery Unit, for use during maintenance events. Gas recovered will be used “as refinery fuel gas.” There is no mention of whether this increases commercial production. (Application attached.)

The project in totality is pretty complex and hard (at least for me) to follow, but it will result in an increase of VOC’s (volatile organic compounds that are very harmful for our lungs) due to 186 new flange connections resulting in .01 ton of increased VOC emissions. Apparently, the law allows BP to take no action here because it would be too cost prohibitive. They also will not be reducing coker pressure to 2 psi because that is also not cost effective so a few other extremely harmful air emissions are not being covered. It does not look like NWCAA is big on a cumulative impact analysis for Cherry Point. Small amounts of excess toxic emissions adds up over time to something significant, especially as refineries and fuel companies engage in piecemeal expansion.

My concern is that project is either increasing fuel production, or will be used to justify a request for expansion in the future. Apparently, the county is handling the SEPA review and we need to make sure that any increase in traffic from trains, pipelines, ships or trucks is considered as part of the project. The refineries assert that none of these projects increase train or ship traffic. They state that it increases hours of operation, without a change in production. It is hard to believe that refineries would update their equipment such that it functions less efficiently and has to work longer just to maintain status quo.

Here are other applications filed by BP in April:

No. 1
Delayed Coker Unit, #1 & #2 Calciners, N & S Coker Heaters, & S Vacuum Heater – OAC Cleanup to clarify conditions.
WHAT YOU CAN DO Request public comment period or public hearing by Apr. 1, 2017 on construction permit No 689c

No. 2
#5 Boiler and Isomerization Unit Heater – OAC Cleanup to clarify conditions.
WHAT YOU CAN DO Request public comment period or public hearing by Apr. 1, 2017 on construction permit No 814c

No.3
Hydrocracker 2nd Stage Reboiler – OAC Cleanup to clarify conditions.
WHAT YOU CAN DO Request public comment period or public hearing by Apr. 1, 2017 on construction permit No 847

No. 4
#1 Reformer Unit – OAC Cleanup to clarify conditions.
WHAT YOU CAN DO Request public comment period or public hearing by Apr. 1, 2017 on construction permit No 562e

No. 5
Truck Rack – OAC Cleanup to clarify conditions.
WHAT YOU CAN DO Request public comment period or public hearing by Apr. 1, 2017 on construction permit No 527e

No. 6
Sulfur Recovery Unit – OAC Cleanup to clarify conditions.
WHAT YOU CAN DO Request public comment period or public hearing by Apr. 1, 2017 on construction permit No 1201b

No. 7
Hydrocracker 1st Stage Reboiler – OAC Cleanup to clarify conditions.
WHAT YOU CAN DO Request public comment period or public hearing by Apr. 1, 2017 on construction permit No 1067b

No. 8
#2 Hydrogen Plant, #3 Diesel Hydro-Desulfurization Unit – OAC Cleanup to clarify conditions.
WHAT YOU CAN DO Request public comment period or public hearing by Apr. 1, 2017 on construction permit No 1064b

No. 9
#6 & #7 Boilers – OAC Cleanup to clarify conditions.
WHAT YOU CAN DO Request public comment period or public hearing by Apr. 1, 2017 on construction permit No 1001d

Read Wendy’s post in the Whatcom Hawk Facebook group here. 

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