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Projected Hyperion Refinery Methane Emissions Nearly Double

December 18, 2010

In new data submitted to the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Hyperion refinery developers Hyperion Refining have now included “forgotten” emissions from coking units. These additional emissions nearly double the projected annual methane released by the refinery. Methane is 20 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. In the meantime, EPA recently adopted new Clean Air Act regulations that require refineries, power plants and factories that emit at least 100,000 tons of greenhouse gases annually to use best available technology to control the emissions.

Hyperion Refining argues that it’s not subject to the new EPA rules, scheduled to take effect January 2, 2011, because SD DENR earlier approved the Hyperion air permit. But if the air permit was based on incomplete or false information, was it ever a legitimate permit?

Another interesting bit in the Sioux City Journal article is a reference toward the end to Hyperion Refining’s plans to:

turn 400,000 barrels of Canadian tar sands per day into low-sulfur gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel.

Early versions of the Hyperion refinery plan insisted that it had no relationship to the Keystone pipeline system and wouldn’t be processing tar sands. Has Hyperion Refining now dropped that convenient fiction?

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