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Water: Petroleum

Effluent Guidelines: Petroleum Refining

Petroleum refining shop

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On October 18, 1982, EPA finalized the effluent limitations guidelines and standards for the petroleum refining point source category.

First, EPA studied the petroleum refining industry to determine whether differences in raw materials, final products, manufacturing processes, equipment, age and size plants, water usage, wastewater constituents, or other factors required the development of separate effluent limitations and standards for different segments of the industry. EPA then identified the constituents of wastewaters which should be considered for effluent limitations quidelines and standards of performance. Next, EPA identified several distinct control and treatment technologies, including both in-plant and end-of-process technologies, which are in use or capable of being used in the petroleum refining industry.


What is Petroleum Refining Industry

The petroleum refining industry is defined by Bureau of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 2911. The raw material of this industry is petroleum material. Petroleum refineries process this raw material into a wide variety of petroleum products, including gasoline, fuel oil, jet fuel, heating oils and gases and petrochemicals. Refining includes a wide variety of physical separation and chemical reaction processes.

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Facilities Covered

The petroleum refining industry is defined by the North American Industry Classification System code 2911. The raw material of this industry is petroleum material. Petroleum refineries process this raw material into a wide variety of petroleum products, including gasoline, fuel oil, jet fuel, heating oils and gases and petrochemicals. Refining includes a wide variety of physical separation and chemical reaction processes.

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Final Rule

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Guidance and Background Documents

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Additional Information/Contacts

For additional information regarding petroleum refining industry effluent guidelines, please see petroleum refining contacts.

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Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Proposed Rule and Support Documents

Preliminary Rule Development

Data Collection

The data gathering efforts for the petroleum refining industry was used in developing the proposed regulations were summarized in the preamble to the proposed petroleum refining regulations published on December 21, 1973 (44 FR 75926). EPA has gathered the following reports concerning data it has acquired on this industry since the December 1979 proposed Flow Model, and a report entitled Petroleum Refining Industry, and Surrogate Sampling Program.

Benefits Cited

EPA estimates that achievement of best available technology (BAT) effluent limitations will remove approximately 123,00 pounds per year of chromium, 86,180 pounds per year of phenols, and substantial quantities of other toxic pollutants. EPA estimates that achievement of best conventional pollutant technology (BCT) effluent limitations will remove approximately 48.7 millions pounds per year of conventional pollutants.


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