EPA Enters Into CERCLA and RCRA PPAs

EPA entered into a prospective purchaser agreement (PPA) with Philadelphia Energy Solutions LLC (PES) and Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining and Marketing LLC (PE R&M) to facilitate the continued operation of two Sunoco Philadelphia refineries. PES is a joint venture of The Carlyle Group LLC and Sunoco Inc (Sunoco). PES is the indirect owner of PE R&M. Notice of the PPA was published in the Federal Register 

The Property consists of two refining operations known as “Point Breeze” and “Girard Point” that had  been operating since the 1800s. EPA issued a RCRA Corrective Action Permit (CA Permit) for the Point Breeze refinery in 1988 when it was owned by Atlantic Refining and Marketing Corp (ARMC) that required ARMC to investigate  three Solid Waste Management Units (SWMUs). The three SWMUs included a past disposal area, a lead tank bottom treatment area, and a storm water pond that drained the tank farm area and discharged into the Schuylkill River via an on-site industrial waste treatment plant NPDES outfall. Sunoco assumed responsibility for the Point Breeze CA Permit in 1989 as part of a transaction with Atlantic Richfield Corporation, and entered into two consent orders with the PADEP in 1993 to address groundwater contamination.

In 1989, EPA issued a CA Permit to Chevron for the Girard Point refinery site. Chevron submitted a RCRA Facility Investigation (RFI) Phase I Report and concluded that additional investigation and a site-specific risk assessment was warranted with regard to hazardous waste and constituents in soil. Sunoco assumed responsibility for the Point Gerard CA Permit in 1994 as part of  a transaction with Chevron.

In 2003, Sunoco entered into a Consent Order and Agreement with thePennsylvaniathat replaced the 1993 consent orders to address degraded groundwater and covered both refinery properties. After EPA and PADEP entered into a One Cleanup Program Memorandum allowing PADEP to administer RCRA and other remedial programs under its Act 2 Voluntary Cleanup Program, Sunoco entered into an Act 2 Consent Order and Agreement to for the refinery properties.

The PPA requires Sunoco to continue remediating the two refinery properties while  PES and PES Refining and Marketing LLC to continue operating the facility and implement improvements to provide additional capacity for treating and remediating waste-water and reusing recovered hydrocarbons. The refinery will provide about 1000 jobs for the Philadelphia area. PES plans to increase dramatically the use of low-priced natural gas from Pennsylvania’s  Marcellus Shale region to reduce refining costs and emissions. PES also plans to upgrade refining units to optimize production of cleaner-burning ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel and is considering building a co-generation plant to produce steam and electricity for the refinery as well as new production units to manufacture derivatives of natural gas, such as urea ammonium nitrate fertilizer.

The PPA was just one piece of the puzzle to prevent the refinery from closing and jeopardizing 850 jobs.  The PA Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) will provide a $15 million grant and PENNDOT will provide a $10MM grant to fund the construction of a new rail facility that will allow the high-speed unloading of railcars carrying crude from new oil-shale formations inNorth Dakota,Colorado, andTexas.  Parts of the refinery will also be located in a Keystone Opportunity Zone so it can receive tax benefits for new construction. Also pending is a 10-year tax abatement from a Keystone Opportunity Zone. The program exempts a property from state, local and school taxes

PADEP also agreed to modify a 2005 consent decree with Sunoco for alleged violations of EPA’s New Source Review requirements at several facilities in 2005, including both the Philadelphiaand Marcus Hook Refineries. Under the modified consent order, the Point Gerard facility will receive emissions credits assigned to the Marcus Hook refinery that Sunoco shut down in December 2011. The emission credits are intended to help PES implement its expansion plans more quickly. PADEP granted the emission credits by applying its aggregation rule which allows related sources to be considered a single emission source. However, environmental organizations have filed a lawsuit challenging the NSR agreement, claiming that two refineries should not be considered a  single source since they are are located 17 miles apart. The complaint says that Sunoco held separate operating permits for both refineries and had consistently made NSR determinations for both sites independently. Moreover, the complaint alleges that Sunoco reported each refinery’s emissions to EPA and PADEP as well as the output of each facility to the Energy Information Agency separately. The complaint says that the only connection between the two facilities is a vestigial pipeline that was once used to transport materials between the two refineries.

EPA entered into a RCRA Prospective Purchaser Agreement (PPA) for a portion of the Delphi Flint West Site, a/k/a Chevy in the Hole in Flint, Michigan. Notice of the PPA Published in Federal Register,   the 103-acre parcel in downtown Flint is a demolished automotive manufacturing plant that was conveyed to Flint by Delphi Corp in 2008. Under the PPA, Flint will receive a covenant not to sue in exchange for implementing an EPA-approved workplan. Among the actions Flint will be required to perform will be conducting a Phase 1 and Baseline Assessment of the Property and implement a workplan approved by EPA. The workplan includes enhancing a protective soil cover, planting trees and other vegetation and monitoring groundwater, record a Declaration of Restrictive Covenant and provide access to the Property. The city will use the land as public green space until a developer is found.Flint will not be responsible for pre-existing contamination provided it follows the approved workplan.

The City of Middletown(Middletown) agreed to pay EPA $2.8MM for the Omo Manufacturing Superfund Site, U.S. EPA Docket No. 01-2012-0040. Middletownhas authorized bonds to fund the settlement and will make five equal payments, with interest, over time. The property owner, RLO Properties, (RLO) was also a party to  the agreement. RLO agreed to provide EPA and its representatives and contractors access to the site to implement response actions. In exchange, EPA provided a covenant not to sue. EPA entered into the settlement after determining that the City and RLO had limited financial ability to implement response actions.

The 10.2-acre site was originally used by the Omo Manufacturing Co. (Omo) to manufacture rubber and artificial leather. In the mid-1930s, Omo deeded the property to Middletown who used the wetlands in the western part of the site for a municipal landfill that accepted waste oils, paints, and refuse from rubber manufacturing.  The city conveyed a portion of the land back to Omo in 1957 on the condition that the city could continue to use the area.

The Connecticut DEP learned about the prior waste disposal from a former Omo mployee in 1983. In April 2009, the site was referred to EPA by the CDEP. EPA issued a PRP letter to the City in 2010 indicating that the property posed an imminent and substantial endangerment and providing the City with an opportunity to voluntarily perform certain removal actions. Because of the emergency conditions at the site, EPA dispensed with decided not to follow its Special Notice Letter procedures. The property currently consists of two buildings, an open yard and a vacant lot that RLO leases as a staging area, and landscaping and auto body repair businesses

Scroll to Top