Order forces refinery to clean up its act
By Caitilin McAdoo, Bay City News Service
September 1, 2006
MARTINEZ (BCN) - Tesoro's Golden Eagle Refinery in Martinez
is investing in a multi million dollar equipment upgrade that
promises to cut down on air pollution and reduce incidents of
flaring, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
The upgrade comes as a result of an abatement order issued by
the air district after the refinery spewed out sooty particulate
pollution over a 19-day period in January 2005, leaving black
fallout in the surrounding community. In addition to the upgrade,
the air district and the Contra Costa County district attorney's
office collected over $1 million in fines following the incident.
The upgrade will consist of a $300 million replacement of the
refinery's coker, a unit that processes heavy petroleum feedstocks
into lighter refined products. The new coker, which will is scheduled
to be up and running by July of 2008, is expected to reduce incidents
of emissions. It is also designed to reduce other pollutants during
According to a study conducted by the air district, the new coker
is designed to emit 3,000 tons less sulfur dioxide, nearly 700
tons less ammonia, nearly 300 tons less nitrogen oxide and an
estimated 50 tons less carbon monoxide and particulate matter
annually than the current coker.
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