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U.S. EPA revokes permit for Phillips-Trafigura Bluewater offshore terminal

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has revoked the pollution control permit of Bluewater Texas Terminal, according to a letter sent by the EPA to the offshore oil terminal, following objections from environmental groups.

The terminal, jointly developed by refiner Phillips 66 and commodities trader Trafigura, had applied for a Clean Air Act permit in 2019 and received an EPA pollution control license in November 2020 that allowed it to emit almost 19,000 tons of pollutants per year

Environmental groups had urged the agency to amend the permit to include reduction of pollutants by Bluewater, which is located on the Gulf Coast near Corpus Christi, by at least 95%.

The EPA revoked the permit on Thursday and has now directed the company to withdraw its applications by Sept. 15 and submit a revised proposal that meets pollution control norms, according to the letter seen by Reuters.

Application of rules will cut pollution from the Bluewater terminal by 18,000 tons a year, said Gabriel Clark-Leach, an attorney from the Environmental Integrity Project, one of the groups that opposed the permit.

In a letter sent to the EPA, the groups had argued that pollution from the terminal’s offshore infrastructure poses risks to minority and lower-income communities.

Phillips 66 said it was reviewing EPA’s letter while Trafigura did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

The terminal has a potential to export up to 384 million barrels of crude oil per year on large tanker ships.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Rithika Krishna in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Vinay Dwivedi)

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