Processing Magazine

State of Washington introduces new emission reduction rules for refineries

June 17, 2014
<photocredit>Daniel Loiselle/iStockphoto/Thinkstock</photocredit>

Refineries in the state of Washington will have to comply with new rules that aim to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, according to the state's Department of Ecology. The Petroleum Refinery Greenhouse Gas Emission Requirements were introduced by regulators at the end of May and require refineries to have reasonably available control technology (RACT) in place to restrict emissions.

Under the new law, refineries have two options to choose from, the Department of Ecology noted. The first option -- the energy efficiency standard (EES) -- will allow a facility to be compliant if its reasonably available energy efficiency performance ranks around the top 50th percentile for refineries of similar size. The percentile will be determined by the Northwest Clean Air Agency and Puget Sound Clean Air Agency using the Solomon EII scoring system as benchmark.

The second option, called the emission reduction requirement (ERR), requires refineries to implement greenhouse gas emission reduction plans that will lead to a 10-percent reduction on their baseline annual emissions by 2025, the rule states. If a refinery fails to meet the 10-percent target within 10 years it will have to switch to efficiency projects that allow it to comply with the standards though EES.

The Department of Ecology will receive annual reports from all refineries until they have reached compliance with the new requirements through EES or ERR, with the first report due by October 1 this year.