Major Victory Toward Cleaner Air in the Delaware Valley

Progress toward cleaner air in the Philadelphia region took a big step forward this week, as Clean Air Council, the Environmental Integrity Project, and Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals reached a settlement on an air quality permit appeal before the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (Docket No. 2018-057-L).

The settlement, a major victory for clean air in the Delaware Valley, calls for the retirement of 53 tons of volatile organic compound (VOC) Emission Reduction Credits. This means that the right to emit smog-generating air pollution in the region will be reduced by the equivalent of 53 tons (106,000 pounds) of VOCs per year. The Delaware Valley suffers from some of the worst smog in the country. Smog damages the lungs and can trigger asthma attacks.

The parties released the following statement:

  • Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals, Clean Air Council, and Environmental Integrity Project have reached a settlement regarding an administrative appeal involving the West Warm Flare located at the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex in Delaware County. The Clean Air Council and Environmental Integrity Project filed an administrative appeal of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s final action approving a plan approval for the construction of the West Warm Flare. Under the settlement, SPMT will provide 53 Emission Reduction Credits generated in Delaware, Bucks, Chester, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties for retirement by June 30, 2020. Following the retirement of the 53 Emission Reduction Credits, the administrative appeal will be withdrawn.

Clean Air Council and Environmental Integrity Project filed the appeal in May 2018 in response to DEP’s issuance of air quality Plan Approval 23-0119H to Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminal for the installation of a new flare at the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex. The Marcus Hook Industrial Complex is a natural gas liquids storage and transportation facility on the site of the former Sunoco Marcus Hook Refinery. The docket for the appeal can be accessed here, and the settlement is available here.