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The MarkWest Javelina plant in Corpus Christi, TX, will pay out over $750,000 to improve emissions controls, officials said.

It will invest over $650,000 for facility operations improvements that will reduce flaring events and improve communications with the local community.

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In addition, the gas processing plant will also pay a civil penalty of $97,500 to settle violations of the Clean Air Act uncovered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The consent agreement addresses a number of violations occurring from Sept. 1, 2012 to Jan. 30, 2013.

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“EPA is committed to reducing toxic air pollution from sources that have an impact on the health of our citizens,” said Ron Curry, EPA’s Regional Administrator. “This agreement has a positive and direct impact on improving air quality and communication for the surrounding community.”

In addition to improving flare efficiency, the settlement requires MarkWest Javelina improve operational reliability without increasing facility emissions and improve emission controls. The company will also establish a 24 hour hotline to answer any community questions about flaring events at the facility.

This agreement is another in the EPA’s efforts to reduce emissions of toxic air pollutants, with a focus on industrial flares. These requirements focus on reducing the amount of waste gas sent to flares and on improving flare operations, both of which reduce toxic emissions.

Improper operation of an industrial flare can send hundreds of tons of hazardous air pollutants into the air, EPA officials said. More pollution results when waste gas ends up in a flare, or if the flare is inefficient. EPA wants companies to flare less, and when they do flare, to burn the harmful chemicals found in the waste gas.

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