This is 15 miles from my house. Some of you complain about the EPA, but refineries in this area have** gotten by for decades **polluting and violating EPA standards.
Refining, storage and pipeline transportation of petroleum products have dominated industrial activity in northern Hartford for many decades. The three adjacent refinery properties of the area have gone through several successive owners and name changes over these decades. The current owners of these refineries are Premcor Refining Group (formerly Clark Oil and Refining; Apex Oil Company was another former owner), BP Products of North America (formerly Amoco) and ConocoPhillips (former owner Shell). The long history of refinery operations in the area is accompanied by a long history of petroleum releases from pipelines and on-site facility units.
Pipeline and other refinery releases over decades of operation have created a layer of gasoline and other petroleum products on top of the groundwater under much of northeast Hartford. As the groundwater table moves, rising and falling with varying seasonal rainfall, it carries the petroleum layer with it. When petroleum is carried upward with the rising groundwater table into subsoils below structures and the volatile chemicals in the petroleum evaporate, the vapors can make their way into crawl spaces and basements through sumps, drains and cracks in foundations.
Gasoline vapors in the affected area had been reported in 1969. During the 1970s and 80s, odor complaints, health concerns and vapor intrusions into homes in the area were reported. In the spring of 2002, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) again received reports from several northeast Hartford residents of odors, chronic headaches and occasional nausea associated with vapors in their homes.
Now they are building this 4 Billion Dollar expansion while they still continue to violate EPA standards. 4 Billion Dollars, but they don’t make much profit.:roll:
An appeal board of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency](http://stlouis.bizjournals.com/stlouis/gen/US_Environmental%20Protection%20Agency_2A2858D95A4D4B569EB39EDAFCD2B7F2.html) rejected required air permits for ConocoPhillips](http://stlouis.bizjournals.com/stlouis/gen/ConocoPhillips_C7BCD26C18804817B8EC8960E1D8F03A.html) planned expansion of its Wood River Refinery in Roxana, Ill.
The Natural Resources Defense Council](http://stlouis.bizjournals.com/stlouis/related_content.html?topic=Natural%20Resources%20Defense%20Council) (NRDC) led the challenge, which argued that harmful air pollution from the refinery’s flares, which relieve pressure in the refining process, was not being sufficiently controlled. The decision means ConocoPhillips will have to come up with a plan to hold flare emissions down.
“Our intention is not to stop the expansion project, but to ensure that the refinery lives up to the standards of the Clean Air Act and its protections for the people who live and work nearby,” Ann Alexander, senior attorney for the NRDC and lead litigator on the challenge, said in a statement. “ConocoPhillips simply ignored the requirement to find and use the best available pollution control technology.”
A ConocoPhillips spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
ConocoPhillips announced in January 2007](http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/stories/2007/08/27/focus2.html) a joint venture with Calgary, Alberta-based EnCana that could result in a** $4 billion investment** at the Wood River Refinery.
ConocoPhillips and EnCana, one of North America’s largest natural gas producers, finalized an agreement that created two 50/50 operating partnerships, one in Canada and one in the United States, with both companies contributing equally valued assets and equity for capital expenditures.
The plan calls for two phases of construction to expand the heavy-oil processing capacity at ConocoPhillips’ Wood River and Borger, Texas, refineries to 550,000 barrels per day by 2015. Wood River’s current heavy-oil processing capacity is about 60,000 barrels per day.