Storage company Vopak fined for chemical emissions

Vopak’s storage terminal in Deer Park, near Houston.

Vopak Logistics Services USA, part of the Dutch chemical storage company Royal Vopak, was fined $2.5 million for violations of the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Wednesday.

The EPA claims the company’s mismanagement of equipment released chemicals — including acetone and benzene — into a wastewater treatment system. EPA also alleged that Vopak didn’t follow federal regulations for flaring.

RELATED: Larger, more complex refineries driving storage demand, Vopak CEO says

As part of the settlement with the EPA, Vopak will install infrared cameras to detect pollution coming from chemical storage tanks at its Deer Park facility in Harris County.

Chemical emissions, such as chemical solvents or car exhaust, can interact with the atmosphere in the presence of sunlight to create ozone, which can be harmful to human health. The Clean Air Act regulates ozone amount present in the atmosphere.

Vopak’s fine will be split between federal government and the state of Texas. The settlement is still subject to final court approval and a 30-day public comment period. Click here for information on how to comment.
 

 

SHOW MORE