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Flint Hills Resources, LP Agrees to Transition Its Texas Flexible Permits to Federally Approved Clean Air Act Permits - Transition affects facilities in Corpus Christi, Port Arthur and Longview

Release Date: 10/22/2010
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Joe Hubbard at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(DALLAS – October 22, 2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces that a process has been developed, through work with Flint Hills Resources (FHR) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), to transition FHR’s four air pollution permits that contain Texas Subchapter G flexible air permits to State Implementation Plan-approved (SIP-approved) permits consistent with the Clean Air Act.

EPA has been working with TCEQ, industry, community and environmental organizations to address changes to the air permitting program. In September 2010, EPA and TCEQ released a draft four-step transition process at a meeting in Austin. While those discussions are continuing, FHR proceeded to tailor the draft transition process to its facilities with flexible permits.

“The process we have agreed to with Flint Hills Resources is an excellent one, and we look forward to working with the company to complete the work to transition their permits,” stated Al Armendariz, Regional Administrator for EPA Region 6. “It is our hope that the FHR process will serve as a model for other companies seeking to transition to federally-approved permits.”

The applications for SIP-approved permits will be implemented by TCEQ, which remains the primary air permitting authority in the state, reviewed by EPA, and available to the public for review and comment. The company will begin the transition process by submitting a permit application to the State
within 30 days, followed by the preparation of a historical permit analysis and a permit amendment over the next 12-month period.

"Over the past several months, Flint Hills Resources has worked proactively with EPA and TCEQ," said Brad Razook, president and chief executive officer for Flint Hills Resources. "We appreciate the agencies' cooperation and hard work in developing a process for Flint Hills to move forward with transitioning our permits in the state.”

This effort began when EPA objected to a proposed minor revision of the Title V permit for FHR’s East Refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas. EPA objected to 1) the incorporation of a flexible permit into the Title V permit, 2) the incorporation by reference of underlying permits into the Title V permit, 3) inadequate length of time that records were maintained under the general record keeping provision, and 4) the identification of stationary vents in the Title V permit. The transition process announced today and other changes to the FHR East Refinery permit resolve the EPA objections, clear the way for TCEQ to act on the company's permit applications, bring regulatory certainty to the company and will provide the public the clarity they are entitled to in the permits being held by major FHR facilities in Corpus Christi, Port Arthur and Longview.

We look forward to continuing our work with TCEQ and FHR to complete the steps outlined in the October 20, 2010 letter.



Flint Hills Resources Letter to EPA is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6/6xa/pdf/10-20-10_entire_document_final-fhr_to_epa.pdf

EPA Letter to Flint Hills Resources is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6/6xa/pdf/10-21-10_epa_letter_to_fha_with_all_transition_attachments.pdf

More about activities in EPA Region 6 is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6

EPA audio file is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6/6xa/podcast/oct2010.html

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