After entering into a plea agreement, a petroleum refiner requested our help in implementing its terms. The plea agreement required the refiner to upgrade a grandfathered facility at one of its refineries to comply with an NSPS.
Our attorneys first culled local permitting rules. We determined — and the state agency agreed — that the hundreds of changes to the facility required by the plea agreement could be conducted without a major amendment to the refinery's Title V Permit. This saved our client the significant time and expense of a contested case hearing and allowed our client to meet the terms of its plea agreement two years ahead of schedule.
Working closely with a team of refinery management, technical staff, and outside technical consultants, our attorneys also helped the refinery interpret the NSPS. Where the rules were ambiguous, we helped the refinery obtain applicability determinations from the EPA. The EPA agreed with our interpretations and allowed the refinery to use new technologies to comply with the NSPS. Those determinations gave the refinery more flexibility in future operations and saved substantial retrofitting costs.