SABIC and ExxonMobil have excellent safety and environmental records. Protecting the environment will be a priority in project engineering, design and operations. If it proceeds, the project will work with the community, local authorities and the appropriate regulatory agencies to address potential impacts.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will review the project to ensure environmental, health and safety risks are addressed. Permits to build will only be issued if the facility design meets environmental and health requirements established by the TCEQ. The TCEQ will ensure the project meets health and safety standards established to protect the public and the environment.
The permitting process provides opportunities for public input. These opportunities will be publicized prior to their occurrence. For more information on the public participation process, visit TCEQ's website.
Gulf Coast Growth Ventures is investing millions of dollars in environmental controls, modeling work to guide facility placement, and best available control technology.
GCGV will work with the TCEQ to ensure operations and emissions are protective of public health and the environment. The project must model its air emissions to demonstrate compliance with National Ambient Air Quality Standards and to ensure emissions are safe for human health and the environment by satisfying state modeling programs.
Significant investment will be made in environmental controls. Ongoing monitoring is planned for the site once it becomes operational, including continuous emissions monitoring systems, rigorous leak detection and repair monitoring, and fence- line monitoring.
How the project will minimize emissions
Nitrogen Oxide (NOx)
Two key measures will be taken to reduce and control nitrogen oxide emissions:
1. Low NOx burners:
- Reduce emissions by combusting in stages
- Results in a cooler flame,which suppresses NOx formation
2. Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR):
- Reduces NOx into nitrogen and water vapor
- Can achieve 90% reduction of NOx emissions
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) & Particulate Matter
1. Flares and vapor oxidizers:
- Reduce VOCs using thermal and catalytic oxidation
- 98-99% VOC reduction efficiency
- Reduces particulate matter by using filter media
- Efficiency varies with particulate size
FURTHER ACTIONS TAKEN TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT
- Facility will use bleach (instead of chlorine) in the cooling towers to maintain high water quality for our process while minimizing onsite and offsite process safety risk.
- Facility will not store ethylene oxide, a reactive chemical formed in the production of ethylene glycol, on site. Ethylene oxide will be converted directly into ethylene glycol with no intermediate storage, minimizing both onsite and offsite safety risk.
- Facility will recycle the final hydrocarbons residual into fuel for boilers to minimize natural gas consumption and reduce emissions.
Flares are important safety devices used to keep a facility running safely during unplanned operational interruptions or during scheduled maintenance activities. During these periods, material is collected and routed to the flare system which functions to maximize combustion of hydrocarbons, or VOCs, while minimizing the amount of emissions in the air.
Because this would be a brand new facility, the project can engineer and install a staged system consisting of elevated flares and a ground flare. The ground flare would be the primary flare at the facility, while two elevated flares would be used for smaller quantities of product. One benefit of this design is the sound produced by the ground flare is estimated to be two orders of magnitude lower than the sound from an elevated flare when flaring the same amount of product.
Systems with ground flare technology have demonstrated:
- Reduced noise
- Reduced low-frequency vibration
- Reduced illumination (the ground flare flame is behind a fence at ground level)
- Reduced energy consumption (which minimizes emissions, including greenhouse gases)
- Reduced hydrocarbon emissions (expected to achieve higher destruction efficiency)
The project is committed to ensuring operations run safely and with minimal impact on the community and the environment. We will strive to minimize flaring, keeping it to the times that it is necessary for the continued safe operations of the facility.
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