Alternative multimedia regulatory programs for next-generation refineries

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The 25-year-old command-and-control environmental regulatory structure in the US has resulted in significant environmental improvements. Recently, however, its limitations (e.g., rigid application regardless of site-specific conditions, disregard of cross-media and multimedia impacts, limited incentives for new technology development and use) have become increasingly apparent. New regulatory approaches that recognize current and anticipated economic constraints, new knowledge of environmental processes and impacts, and the benefits of new technologies are needed. Such approaches could be especially important for the US petroleum refining industry. This industry operates under thin profit margins, releases chemicals that can produce adverse health and environmental impacts, and must ... continued below

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176 pages

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Elcock, D.; Gasper, J.; Arguerro, R. & Emerson, D. June 22, 2000.

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  • Argonne National Laboratory
    Publisher Info: Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL (United States)
    Place of Publication: Argonne, Illinois

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Description

The 25-year-old command-and-control environmental regulatory structure in the US has resulted in significant environmental improvements. Recently, however, its limitations (e.g., rigid application regardless of site-specific conditions, disregard of cross-media and multimedia impacts, limited incentives for new technology development and use) have become increasingly apparent. New regulatory approaches that recognize current and anticipated economic constraints, new knowledge of environmental processes and impacts, and the benefits of new technologies are needed. Such approaches could be especially important for the US petroleum refining industry. This industry operates under thin profit margins, releases chemicals that can produce adverse health and environmental impacts, and must meet the technological challenges of producing more highly refined fuels from poorer quality feedstocks. Under a grant from the Environmental Technology Initiative (ETI), Argonne National Laboratory and its subcontractor, Analytical Services, Inc. developed two alternative environmental regulatory programs for next-generation petroleum refineries. (In this report, next-generation refineries refers to the refineries of today as they operate in the next 20 or more years rather than to fully reengineered future refineries.) The objective of the ETI refinery project was to develop future-oriented regulatory programs for next-generation refineries that will expand the use of innovative technologies, encourage pollution prevention, demonstrate environmental responsibility, and maintain refinery economic performance. Rather than suggesting targeted, short-term modifications to existing media-specific command-and-control regulations, the ETI project suggests the use of new approaches that are broader and more flexible. It recognizes that giving refineries flexibility in meeting environmental protection goals can stimulate new technology development and use. Unlike most US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reinvention efforts, which seek results in 12 to 18 months, this ETI effort assumes a time frame of 20 years or more. It also assumes that existing laws and regulations can be changed. An iterative and interactive process was used by the project team to develop the alternative approaches. Information and stakeholder input were integrated to provide for constant revision and improvement. First, guidelines and principles were established to bound the study and set parameters for developing the approaches. Next, existing and projected environmental laws and regulations affecting petroleum refineries were examined to identify areas needing change. Then, to understand future challenges and opportunities, the projected refinery operating environment was described in terms of feedstock, product, technology, and economics. Finally several goals and indicators for assessing and comparing the alternatives were identified. On the basis of this background information, more than 60 options that could efficiently and effectively protect human health and the environment were identified. These options ranged from fundamental changes in program philosophy to procedural improvements. After the options were evaluated against the goals and indicators, many of them were integrated into two separate thematic paradigms: a risk-based paradigm and a goal-based paradigm. Elements common to both approaches include the following: (1) Establish the baseline--In establishing the baseline, the refinery and the regulator jointly identify residuals for which release limits must be established; (2) Set residual release limits--The refinery and the regulator jointly specify release limits on a facility-wide rather than a source-specific basis. A facility-wide permit documents the release limits; and (3) Assure compliance--Incentives provide the basis for assuring compliance, and flexibility in the compliance method is encouraged. Penalties apply if releases exceed the limits, and reporting requirements are streamlined relative to current practices.

Physical Description

176 pages

Source

  • Other Information: PBD: 22 Jun 2000

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  • Report No.: ANL/EAD/TM-90
  • Grant Number: W-31109-ENG-38
  • DOI: 10.2172/759092 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 759092
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc709528

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  • June 22, 2000

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • March 30, 2016, 12:06 p.m.

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Elcock, D.; Gasper, J.; Arguerro, R. & Emerson, D. Alternative multimedia regulatory programs for next-generation refineries, report, June 22, 2000; Argonne, Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc709528/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.