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Supplemental Notice Letter to Crown Central Petroleum

Note: The four attachments that were sent with the notice letter are not included here. If you would like a copy of the attachments (tables of violations), call the TLPJ office at 202-797-8600 and ask for Theresa Henige, or send your request via e-mail.



September 3, 1997

CERTIFIED MAIL, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED

David M. Hays
Manager, Environmental Matters
Crown Central Petroleum
P.O. Box 1759
Houston, Texas 77251-1759

RE: Supplemental Notice Letter

Dear Mr. Hays:

Section 304(b) of the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 7604(b), requires that 60 days prior to the filing of a citizen suit in federal district court under section 304(a)(1) of the Act, the alleged violator, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the State in which the alleged violations occur must be given notice of the alleged violations.

On May 16, 1997, a letter was sent to you notifying you of alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at Crown Central Petroleum's Pasadena, Texas refinery ("Crown"). The letter was sent on behalf of Texans United for a Safe Economy Education Fund, P.O. Box 7864, Houston, TX 77270-7864, (713) 869-0774; the Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. ("NRDC"), 40 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011, (212) 727-4400; the Sierra Club, 85 Second Street, Second Floor, San Francisco, CA, 94105, (415) 977-5500; and the following individuals: W.A. Cowan, 3405 Lily, Pasadena, TX 77505, (281) 487-0575; Ranford Denoon, 413 W. Pitts Avenue, Pasadena, TX 77506, (713) 920-2504; Arnoldo Cazares, 337 Winona, Pasadena, TX 77506, (713) 472-5380; and Ron Van Osdol, 110 N. Main, Pasadena, TX 77506, (713) 472-3053. This notice letter is sent on behalf of the same parties, and supplements the May 16, 1997 notice letter.

We believe that the May 16, 1997 letter fulfilled all applicable notice requirements. By sending this letter the notifiers do not waive any argument concerning the sufficiency of our prior notice letter. We incorporate the May 16, 1997 letter into this letter by reference.

1. Sulfur Dioxide and Hydrogen Sulfide Violations - Attachment A

Notifiers hereby place you on notice that we believe that air emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) generated by the sulfur recovery unit at Crown Central Petroleum's Pasadena, Texas refinery ("Crown") have violated and continue to violate "an emission standard or limitation" under section 304(a) and (f) of the Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 7604(a) and (f), in at least the instances listed in Attachment A. This list is based on the company's reports of excess emission and monitoring system performance data for the third and fourth quarters of 1996 and the first and second quarters of 1997.

Notifiers place you on further notice that we believe that fuel gas concentrations of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) from the reformer No. 3 and auxiliary coker heater (reformer/heater) at Crown's refinery have violated and continue to violate "an emission standard or limitation" under section 304(a) and (f) of the Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 7604(a) and (f), in at least the instances listed in Attachment A. This list is based on the company's reports of excess emission and monitoring system performance data for the third quarter of 1996 and the first and second quarters of 1997.

Attachment A identifies numerous exceedances of the emission and concentration standards for SO2 and H2S. We believe that the SO2 and H2S violations have continued since June 1997. The SO2 and H2S exceedances in Attachment A are violations of the following: (1) Texas State Implementation Plan (SIP) under section 110 of the Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 7410; (2) the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) under section 111 of the Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 7411, et seq.; (3) U.S. EPA regulations governing SO2 emissions and H2S in fuel gas at petroleum refineries, 40 C.F.R. Sec. Sec. 60.104(a)(2)(i) and 60.104(a)(1) respectively; (4) Section III(3)(b)(B) of Agreed Order No. 95-0538-AIR-E, issued by the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission (TNRCC) on May 1, 1995; and (5) TNRCC Agreed Order No. 94-11, entered on June 29, 1994 and incorporated into the Texas SIP on March 6, 1995 at 60 Fed. Reg. 12125-12128.

2. Agreed Order Odor Survey Violations - Attachment B

Notifiers place you on further notice that we believe that since May 1995 Crown has failed to conduct surveys, and/or to maintain records of surveys, to determine the geographical extent and intensity of odors emitted from the plant during periods of upset or outage of the sulfur recovery unit, or during operations associated with violations of the fuel gas H2S standards, in violation of TNRCC Agreed Order No. 95-0538-AIR-E, paragraph 9(b). We believe that Crown's failure to conduct these odor surveys and/or maintain records of surveys, has occurred at a minimum in the instances noted in Attachment B, a list of SRU upsets and outages, and violations of the H2S fuel gas standard, derived from Crown's NSPS reports to TNRCC. Violation of the odor survey requirements in TNRCC Agreed Order No. 95-0538-AIR-E is a violation of the Texas SIP under section 110 of the Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 7410.

3. Sulfur Emission Curtailment Plan Violations - Attachment C

Notifiers place you on further notice that we believe that since October 1994 Crown has failed to implement the sulfur emission curtailment plan during shutdowns of the sulfur recovery unit and fluid catalytic cracking unit that exceed 24 hours, in violation of special condition 25 of Crown's TNRCC Permit No. 6059. We also place you on notice that we believe that since October 1994 Crown has failed to report within seven days to TNRCC on the implementation of measures specified in the sulfur emission curtailment plan, in violation of special condition 26 of Crown's TNRCC Permit No. 6059. We believe that Crown's failure to implement the sulfur emission curtailment plan and report to TNRCC occurred at a minimum in the instances noted in Attachment C, a list of shutdowns of the sulfur recovery unit and fluid catalytic cracking unit that exceed 24 hours, derived from Crown's NSPS reports to TNRCC. Violation of the sulfur emission curtailment plan in Crown's TNRCC Permit No. 6059 is a violation of the Texas SIP under section 110 of the Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 7410.

4. Violation of Annual Maximum Emission Rate for Sulfur Dioxide - Attachment D

Notifiers place you on further notice that we believe that in 1996 Crown exceeded the annual maximum emission rates for sulfur dioxide emissions at four emission sources:

TNRCC Permit No. Source Name Annual Allowable SO2 Emissions
6059 SRU Tail Gas Incinerator Stack 31.93
5953 Reformer No. 3/Combined Heaters 83.03
C-20246 West Flare 6.60
22039 Boiler No. 4 35.04

In upset reports filed by Crown for upsets occurring in 1996, Crown has reported emissions of SO2 from the TGI stack, Reformer No. 3/combined heaters, West Flare, and Boiler No. 4 in amounts that exceed the combined annual allowable emissions of SO2 for these four sources. Attachment D is a list of Crown's upset reports stating the upset emissions of SO2 from these four units for 1996. Crown's upset reports demonstrate that its upset emissions alone of SO2 from the TGI stack, Reformer No. 3/combined heaters, West Flare, and Boiler No. 4, exceeded 345 tons in 1996. The combined annual allowable SO2 emission rate for these sources is 156.6 tons.

We believe that Crown also violated the annual allowable emission rates for SO2 applicable to each of the four individual units in 1996. For instance, Crown's upset reports noted in Attachment D demonstrate that the permit annual allowable emission rates for SO2 at the Reformer No. 3/combined heaters and West Flare were exceeded in 1996. We believe that the permit annual allowable emission rates for SO2 at the SRU's TGI stack and Boiler No. 4 were also exceeded in 1996, but do not have sufficient publicly-available information at this time to analyze this issue.

A violation of the maximum annual allowable SO2 emission rates in Crown's TNRCC Permits is a violation of the Texas SIP under section 110 of the Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 7410.

5. Good Air Pollution Control Practice Violations

Notifiers place you on further notice that we believe that since at least 1992 Crown has failed to maintain and operate its sulfur recovery unit and fluid catalytic cracking unit in a manner consistent with good air pollution control practice for minimizing emissions, in violation of U.S. EPA regulations governing compliance with the new source performance standards, 40 C.F.R. Sec. 60.11(d). We believe that Crown's failure to operate and maintain these units in a manner consistent with good air pollution control practice is demonstrated by the violations noted in Attachments A, B, C and D, and is ongoing.

Notifiers filed a complaint against Crown under Section 304(a) of the Act in U.S. District Court in Houston on July 21, 1997 on the basis of the allegations in the May 16, 1997 notice letter. We intend, at the close of the 60-day notice period or shortly thereafter, to amend that complaint to add the violations alleged in this notice letter. Texans United, NRDC and Sierra Club intend to sue on behalf of their individual members.

If you have any question about the issues raised in this letter, please have your counsel contact me.

Very truly yours,

Mark Wenzler
Counsel for Notifiers

Attachments.

cc: (by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested)

Carol Browner, Administrator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, A-100
401 M Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20460

Jane Saginaw
Regional Administrator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Region VI
1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200
Dallas, Texas 75202-2733

Dan Pearson, Executive Director
Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission
P.O. Box 13087
Austin, Texas 78711-3087

Hon. George W. Bush, Jr.
State of Texas
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711

Registered Agent, Crown Central Petroleum
Corporation Service Company
400 North St. Paul Street
Dallas, Texas 75201

Louis S. Zimmerman
Fulbright & Jaworski
600 Congress Avenue, Suite 2400
Austin, Texas 78701