Atlantic Trading & Marketing, Inc., Clean Air Act Settlement
Overview of Company
ATMI is a Houston-based company that engages in trading and shipping of crude oil and refined products. As a part of those operations, ATMI is a refiner that produces gasoline by adding blendstocks to previously certified gasoline at third-party bulk liquid storage terminal facilities
The Clean Air Act and its implementing regulations contain numerous provisions to ensure that only compliant fuels and fuel additives are produced and distributed in the United States so as to limit emissions of pollutants, such as benzene and VOCs, both through reductions in emissions from combustion and reductions in emissions from evaporative losses of fuel.
The EPA alleged ATMI violated the following CAA fuels requirements: 1) the refinery-specific maximum average benzene standard during one reporting period (approximately 5,250,000 gallons); 2) the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) requirements for one batch of gasoline (approximately 5,250,000 gallons); 3) the volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions performance reduction requirements for one batch of gasoline (approximately 5,370,000 gallons); and 4) reporting requirements for four batches of gasoline.
Environmental Benefits and Pollutant Reductions
In this case, non-compliance with the fuels regulations resulted in additional emissions of benzene and VOCs from the non-compliant gasoline.
- Increased benzene levels in gasoline can increase benzene air emissions from gasoline service stations and motor vehicles. Benzene is a known carcinogen, and acute (short-term) inhalation exposure of humans to benzene may cause drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, as well as eye, skin, and respiratory tract irritation.
- Increased RVP, or decreased VOC emissions performance reduction, of gasoline can increase VOC air emissions. VOC is a precursor to the formation of ground-level ozone, which is a criteria pollutant. Ground-level ozone causes a wide variety of health and environmental impacts, including temporary breathing difficulty for people with asthma, respiratory illness, and aggravation of existing heart disease.
ATMI will pay a $1,280,000 civil penalty to the United States.
Virginia Sorrell, Attorney
Air Enforcement Division
Office of Civil Enforcement
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
1595 Wynkoop Street (8MSU)
Denver, CO 80202