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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a Notice of Violation to Shell Oil Company for its infringements of the Clean Air Act at a bulk petroleum terminal the company owned in Bridgeport, Conn., until Oct. 1, 1998. According to the report, Shell loaded a total of 28.4 million gallons of gasoline onto barges without required vapor recovery equipment on seven days in 1997. The result is 56 tons of uncontrolled volatile organic compound emissions to the atmosphere in an area of New England. During the investigation in May, 1999 EPA also found that Shell built an additional loading bay in 1995 without permit of the state Department of Environmental Protection. Bridgeport’s facility itself has been recorded to produce average of about 170 tons of volatile organic compounds per year. However, this modification has the potential of production 30 tons per year more of the pollution emissions.

In 2008, a new lawsuit was opened against Shell Oil Company in Houston, Texas for Clean Air Act violation. Shell’s Deer Park facility is the nation’s eighth-largest oil refinery and one of the world’s largest producers of petrochemicals. The facility is also the second largest source of air pollution in Harris County, which ranks among the worst in the nation in several measures of air quality. According to the environmental groups’ analysis of Shell’s own reports to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, air pollutants released at Deer Park since 2003 include:

  • Over 1,000 tons of sulfur dioxide;
  • Over 500 tons of volatile organic compounds (VOCs);
  • Over 300 tons of carbon monoxide;
  • Over 125 tons of nitrogen oxides;
  • Over 45 tons of benzene and
  • 30 tons of 1,3-butadiene

The lawsuit seeks a court order requiring Shell to end its Clean Air Act violations and pay additional penalties of up to $32,500 per day for each violation of the Clean Air Act.

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