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LOS ANGELES – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reached a settlement with the Phillips 66 Company for violation of limits on the Company’s storage of hazardous waste at the Phillips 66 Carson, Calif. refinery. Under this agreement, Phillips 66 will pay a penalty of $87,276 and process the remaining excess oil-based hazardous waste into usable product by December 31, 2021.
The company violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the federal law governing the treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. The goal of RCRA is to protect public health and the environment, and avoid long and extensive cleanups, by requiring the safe, environmentally sound management of hazardous waste.
“Exceeding storage limits for hazardous waste can increase the risk of spills and worker and community exposure,” said Amy Miller, EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division Director for the country’s Pacific Southwest region. “In this instance, allowing Phillips 66 to complete processing of oil-bearing materials minimizes exposure to hazardous waste and facilitates beneficial recycling.”
The oil-bearing hazardous waste included multiple types of sludge and solids from the petroleum refining process. Phillips 66 cites mechanical issues and reduced processing capacity, due to decreased demand for oil under the COVID-19 pandemic, as the basis for their unpermitted accumulation of the oil-bearing material.
Instead of disposing of the oil-based hazardous waste off-site, Phillips 66 has agreed to provide EPA more oversight of the excess material until it is recycled into useable product.
For more information on EPA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, please visit: www.epa.gov/rcra.