Environmental Protection Agency personnel conducted an inspection of the Mid-Continent Fractionation and Storage facility in Conway, Kan., in April 2012.
As a result of the inspection, Mid-Continent has agreed to spend approximately $2 million to construct and operate a system to reduce emissions of volatile organic compound (VOC) vapors to the atmosphere.
The EPA inspection documented that Mid-Continent uses an emergency flare to control its VOC emissions. The flare’s operating settings resulted in decreased efficiency in controlling VOC emissions, resulting in the facility’s potential-to-emit VOCs to exceed permitted limits, in violation of the Clean Air Act (CAA).
As a part of this settlement, Mid-Continent will install and operate a new vapor collection system and two new open flame vapor combustion units. The installation and operation of these units will bring Mid-Continent into compliance with the CAA and reduce VOC emissions by more than 15 tons per year.
“EPA is committed to protecting the quality of the air that we all breathe every day,” EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks said. “The significant upgrades to Mid-Continent’s facility as a result of this settlement will reduce air pollution and help protect the health of the Conway community.”
Volatile organic compounds are precursors to ozone, which may cause airway irritation; wheezing and breathing difficulty during exercise or outdoor activity; and aggravation of asthma and increased susceptibility to respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia and bronchitis.