Bluewater Texas Terminals is preparing to build the state’s first major offshore oil export terminal near Corpus Christi, the terminal said it was withdrawing its initial permit application to add additional emissions reduction measures, which could be delayed this project.
Friday’s announcement comes after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency changed its original stance on the program. In a September EPA letter, the EPA said the Bluewater Texas Terminal would have a 15-day window — a deadline that was later extended to Friday — to withdraw its application and resubmit proposals that meet stricter pollution control standards.
Bluewater Texas Terminal is a joint venture between Phillips 66 and Trafigur Corporation. Critics of the project say it will endanger surrounding habitats, while company officials say the impact on the environment will be minimized.
“In response to discussions with the EPA, the Bluewater Offshore Export Terminal project plans to submit a revised Clean Air Act license application and will withdraw its original license application,” Phillips 66 spokesman Rich Johnson said in a written statement indicated in.
There will be some project delays to allow time for additional revisions and emissions mitigation measures. Meanwhile, Johnson said, Bluewater is reviewing several options for reducing emissions, including new technologies that have become available in the years since the project was proposed.
The permitting timeline will ultimately be determined by the EPA and the U.S. Maritime Administration, he said.
The proposed facility would enable the loading of very large crude carriers – each capable of transporting up to 2 million barrels of crude oil – and the ability to export as much as 384 million barrels a year.
Under the original proposal, the terminal would be allowed to emit as much as nearly 19,000 tons of volatile organic compounds, which the EPA says form ozone and fine particulate matter in the atmosphere. EPA, in September. Letter 1 said that the National Hazardous Air Pollutant Emission Standard for ship-to-tank loading operations should apply to the proposed project, meaning that it would require a “95 weight percent reduction in hazardous air pollutant emissions.”
Johnson said the initial application was in line with current reverse barges and other crude loading operations in U.S. offshore waters. He said the new permit application would contain emission reduction strategies to “further reduce air emissions associated with shipping”.
“We look forward to continuing to work with all relevant regulators to secure approval for this important energy infrastructure project,” he said in a written statement.
September. A letter marks a reversal of a decision made by the EPA overseen by the Trump administration. The EPA then decided that the terminal would be exempt from rules requiring pollution controls for offshore tanker loading operations.