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Big Oil sues EPA over request for pollution data

02 Jun 2011  |   Emma Brown

Tags: Clean Air

Greenwire reports that the American Petroleum Institute (API) has filed a lawsuit against the EPA over the agency’s request for Emissions Data from all 152 U.S. oil refineries. The EPA requested that each refinery estimate carcinogen, smog, and soot emissions. API contends that this poses a significant burden on the industry, wasting extensive amounts of both time and money. 

The EPA intends to use the requested data to reevaluate the “residual risk,” of refinery pollution—whether or not such emissions have carcinogenic implications and therefore are a threat to public health. The move rebukes an analysis stemming from the Bush era in which the administration determined petroleum equipment standards were enough to protect the public from toxic emissions.

But as environmental, and public health groups push for the reinstatement of 1995 air pollution standards, they argue that data collection that lead to Bush era conclusions was intentionally flawed. Calculated data, they point out, only took into account the residual effects of living nearby one plant, and failed to incorporate the possibility that greater concentrations of emissions—such as that which would occur in an area with multiple plants—could pose a significantly greater health concerns.

This is just the latest example in a slew of efforts by oil companies and their allies in Congress to block the EPA from doing its job to protect the health of American families.

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