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TCEQ imposes penalties on Motiva, Huntsman

By Ken Stickney


The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality this week imposed penalties on two Jefferson County energy companies, contending that both companies violated emissions standards.

Motiva Enterprises, 2555 Savannah Ave., Port Arthur was assessed a penalty of $157,500 by TCEQ, less $31,500 of the penalty dependent on “timely and satisfactory compliance.”

Half of the remainder was to be paid into a supplemental environmental project; in this case, that money will be paid to Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission, a third party, for the Meteorological and Air Monitoring Network Project.

“Specifically, the SEP Offset Amount will be used to operate, maintain, and potentially expand the existing Southeast Texas Regional Air Monitoring Network,” with nine stations that monitor compliance. The stations include those at the Motiva industrial site, Port Arthur Memorial High School, Port Neches, Sabine Pass and Southeast Texas Regional Airport.

TCEQ’s allegations centered on the unauthorized release of 148.68 tons of carbon monoxide between May 2016 and April 2017. The company denied the allegation.

In a second matter, TCEQ imposed a penalty of $22,500 on Huntsman Petrochemical, 6001 Highway 366, Port Neches; $4,500 was deferred contingent on timely compliance. The company disputed the finding.

Specifically, TCEQ said Huntsman released 400 pounds of ethylene and 71 pounds of ethylene oxide during a 48-minute “emissions event” that occurred Sept. 23, 2016.

A second transgression occurred Oct. 20, 2016 when the plant released 7,480 pounds of ethylene oxide.

The company deferred $9,000 to a supplemental environmental project. Like Motiva’s, Huntsman’s SEP also was directed toward the Meteorological and Air Monitoring Network project.