Delaware City Refinery

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The Delaware Attorney General says that the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control violated the Freedom of Information Act.

The office says that the agency failed to properly respond to a request for records by the Delaware Audubon Society last year.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the law requires agencies to respond within 15 days by either providing the records, denying the request or asking for more time.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state House has overwhelmingly approved a bill opening Delaware's environmentally protected coastal zone to new heavy industry.

The measure cleared the House on a 34-to-7 vote Tuesday and now goes to the Senate

The bill, supported by Gov. John Carney establishes a permitting process for new use of 14 existing industry sites, including abandoned and polluted brownfields.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A proposal to open Delaware's environmentally protected coastal zone to new heavy industry is getting its first hearing in the legislature.

A House committee hearing on the bill was set for Wednesday amid opposition from several environmental groups.

The bill establishes a permitting process for new use of 14 existing industry sites, most of them abandoned and polluted brownfields.

DNREC

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Lawmakers have introduced a bill to open parts of Delaware's environmentally protected coastal zone to heavy industry.

The legislation introduced Thursday establishes a permitting process for new use of 14 existing heavy industry sites, most of them abandoned and polluted brownfields.

The bill also would allow the currently prohibited transfer of bulk products such as oil and minerals at nine sites that had docking facilities or piers before the Coastal Zone Act was enacted in June 1971.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents has released a report regarding a flash fire at the Delaware City refinery that left a worker with second-degree burns.

Officials with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board held a news conference Thursday to release their findings regarding the 2015 incident, which left a 62-year-old man hospitalized with burns to his face and neck.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - A federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents is set to release a report regarding a flash fire at the Delaware City refinery that left a worker with second-degree burns.

Officials with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board scheduled a news conference Thursday to release their findings regarding the 2015 incident, which left a 62-year-old man hospitalized with burns to his face and neck.

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The Delaware City Refinery is balking at paying a $150-thousand fine with its parent company PBF Energy calling it arbitrary and unreasonable.

The fines originated with an incident in 2013 in which state officials determined that the refinery concealed 17 shipments of crude oil and violated the limits on such shipments.

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary David Small handed down the fine in early March based on the determination of his predecessor.          

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DELAWARE CITY, Del. (AP) - Officials say an equipment malfunction caused the Delaware City Refinery to release a hazardous chemical into the air.
 
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental control announced that the facility released 100 lbs. of sulfur dioxide into the air Wednesday morning.
 
WDEL-FM reports that the chemical is considered hazardous by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
 
The state environmental agency says the facility has fixed the equipment malfunction that was to blame.

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DELAWARE CITY, Del. (AP) - A state board has dismissed an appeal filed against a project that is going to significantly increase the amount of biofuel being stored at and shipped from a Delaware City refinery.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board voted 5-1 Monday to toss the case, ruling that the two civic groups who brought the appeal did not show their members would suffer direct harm from the project.

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The battle over the ethanol expansion request by the Delaware City Refinery has pitted lawyers for the state and the refinery against citizen groups as they go before the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control along with the company claim that five of the seven arguments against the expansion are erroneous and reflect desperation.

But Delaware Audubon and the League of Women Voters of Delaware call the claims misdirection and say they are failing to follow the law.

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Two groups are appealing the recent permit issued by state officials to allow the shipment of up to 10 thousand barrels of unblended ethanol per day from the Delaware City Refinery.

The appeal has been filed by Delaware Audubon and the League of Women Voters.

They are asking the Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board to reject the decision by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

Don Rush

The Delaware City Refinery has been given permission by state officials to handle shipments of unblended ethanol at its barge facility. It comes as part of a  federal government mandate that requires ethanol make up 10 percent of gasoline. However, a conservation group says the federal program is endangering habitat as farmers meet demand by growing such crops as corn for ethanol use. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with Collin O'Mara, president of the National Wildlife Federation, who said it's time to rollback the program.

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Shipments of crude oil have been sent from Delaware City Refinery to third-party destinations in 2014.

That admission comes from the facility’s owner PBF Energy after claiming in 2013 that it had only sent one shipment to a destination in New Jersey which was authorized by the Delaware Department Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the state decided not to issue a sanction against PBF for a shipment of crude oil to a Philadelphia refinery that same year.

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PBF wants to dramatically expand the Delaware City Refinery’s output of denatured ethanol from 84-thousand gallons a day to 420-thousand gallons.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that currently the facility imports ethanol from other states.

It is mixed with gasoline and is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The paper reports that the company wants to commence work on the expansion late this year with production beginning early next year.

The company will need to get permission from state officials and expect to employ 20 to 25 workers.  

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The Delaware City Refinery could pay up to $20-thousand in fines for 6 tons of sulfur dioxide emissions two years ago and nearly 16 tons of other chemicals last year.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that state regulators decided to issue a single notice of violation for the two incidents.

The Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control will now figure out just how large the fines will be against PBF which owns the facility.

creative commons

The owner of the Delaware City Refinery is expected to get hit with a lawsuit that charges the cooling water intake system has caused the deaths of sturgeon.

The conservation group Delaware Riverkeeper says the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control could also be named in the lawsuit for violations of federal rules.

The Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon are protected under the 1973 Endangered Species Act.

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DELAWARE CITY, Del. (AP) - Delaware authorities say a worker was burned at a refinery in Delaware City.

New Castle County Paramedics said in a statement that they were called Sunday evening to the Delaware City Refinery Company for a report of an injured worker. Paramedics say when they arrived they found a 62-year-old man with burns on his face and neck from a flash fire in an industrial area at the refinery.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Supreme Court has rejected a challenge by environmentalists to an order from Delaware's former environmental secretary granting an air quality permit for a crude oil transfer station at the Delaware City oil refinery.
 
The court rejected the appeal Thursday, one day after hearing oral arguments.
 

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Environmentalists are asking the Delaware Supreme Court to overturn a judge's ruling that two state panels had no jurisdiction to consider their challenge of a state-issued permit for a crude oil transfer station at the Delaware City refinery.

The Coastal Zone Industrial Control Board determined that environmentalists lacked standing to challenge the permit, while the Environmental Appeals Board said it lacked jurisdiction.

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DELAWARE CITY, Del. (AP) - PBF Energy has reported that it has completed the repair and restart of an 82,000 barrel per day refining unit that had been crippled by fire Aug. 21.

The News Journal reports the fire and loss of a major air compressor system in the plant's catalytic cracking unit slowed the system for weeks, prompting operation of some plant systems at reduced rates for weeks. The newspaper reports full details and the cost and cause of the incident have not been made public.

company photo

DELAWARE CITY, Del. (AP) - The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environment Control says 40 pounds of sulfur dioxide has been released into the air from the Delaware City Refinery.
 
The department says the release happened at the plant in Delaware City early Monday. Officials told area residents on Tuesday.
 
Officials say that the substance is considered hazardous by the Environmental Protection Agency.
 
The release of the chemical is under investigation.

     
 

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The latest permit renewal request for the Delaware City Refinery found more than 500 people crammed into an auditorium at the Gunning Bedford Elementary School last night.

It was hearing on the facility’s cooling water intake and pollution discharge rights.

Environmentalists showed up -- some in fish costumes – and argued that the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control had incorrectly agreed to issue the permit.

PBF

PBF is seeking a key permit for a $100 million hydrogen plants for ultra-low sulfur fuel production at its Delaware City refinery.

The company would like to begin production by November of next year.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that news of the application surfaced after environmental groups pressed state officials about a cooling tower system at the plant.

The groups say the recycling tower is important in reducing the refinery’s 300 million gallon per day withdrawals from the Delaware River.

delaware chapter of the sierra club

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Environmental groups want the state to hold a public hearing on a plan to restore and protect Delaware River shoreline at docks near Delaware City.

Delaware Sierra Club and Delaware Audubon said in a letter to state environmental regulators that PBF Energy's plan could attract birds near an area they say is at risk for oil spills.

PBF's plan for its docks at its Delaware City refinery includes refilling shoreline and replacing nearly 1,000 5-foot high wave dampeners. Pilings would be driven to anchor oil spill containment booms.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - State lawmakers are working to ensure that a sharp increase in rail shipments of oil to Delaware comes with adequate safety and response measures.

Members of the House Energy Committee quizzed industry officials Wednesday on safety and inspections standards for tanker cars bringing oil shipments to the Delaware City refinery, and for the tracks that carry the tankers.

Lawmakers also heard from state and local emergency response officials regarding their ability to respond to a tanker derailment or fire.

PBF Energy website

DELAWARE CITY, Del. (AP) - Delaware officials say a power outage caused a pollution release at the PBF Energy refinery near Delaware City.

The News Journal reports that Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control say the release happened sometime Thursday morning.

Officials say the release includes sulfur dioxide, a pollutant linked to acid rain, smog and toxic soot.

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DELAWARE CITY, Del. (AP) - Delaware regulators are citing the PBF refinery for new pollution violations.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control also reported the unplanned release of nearly 1.5 tons of sulfur dioxide. The Wilmington News Journal reports that the refinery's open-air incinerator stack burned for more than six hours Sunday into Monday after a loss of water in a tank used to control flows of volatile gases and remove liquids before flaring.

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More than a ton of sulfur dioxide was emitted at the Delaware City Refinery.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control says that more than 2,750 pounds of the chemical compound was released from the refinery around 8:30 p.m. on Monday.

The facility is owned by PBF Energy.

DNREC is investigating the incident.

PBF Energy

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Officials at the Delaware City refinery are trying to determine the source of a chemical release that left a sheen on the Delaware River.

A spokesman for refinery owner PBF Energy said Wednesday that the release was reported to state environmental officials late Tuesday night but that he didn't know what type of hydrocarbon material was involved or where it came from.

PBF says it deployed booms, absorbent and skimmers to contain the release.

It was not immediately clear whether the sheen has reached the main body of the river.

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The derailment of a crude oil train that killed nearly 50 people in a Quebec town near the U.S. border has gotten the attention of Delaware officials.

The Federal Railroad Administration is holding an emergency meeting this Thursday to review the findings of a rail safety advisory committee.

Delaware officials are concerned about the highly flammable Bakken oil in that accident.

The reason: The rail operation that surrounds the Delaware City Refinery.

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