Royal Dutch Shell Plc will spend $115 million in a move to cut pollution at its joint-venture 327,000 barrel per day (bpd) refinery in the Houston suburb of Deer Park, TX, said officials at the U.S. Justice Department (DoJ) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Under the agreement, which will take the form of a consent decree entered in U.S. District Court, Shell will install at least $115 million worth of equipment that will cut pollution from safety flares at the Deer Park refinery and adjoining chemical plant, the feds said.
“These controls will also reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by approximately 260,000 tons per year,” the feds said in a release.
Shell will also pay $2.6 million to settle a civil penalty.
The equipment will also monitor benzene escaping through the air beyond the refinery’s fence line, according to the announcement. Benzene can cause cancer and bone marrow failure.
Shell is the sole owner of the Deer Park Chemical Plant, but the crude oil refinery is a 50-50 joint venture called Dear Park Refining LP owned by Shell and Mexico’s national oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex).