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Enforcement

Equilon Enterprises LLC, doing business as Shell Oil Products US, Motiva Enterprises LLC, and Deer Park Refining Limited Partnership

(Washington, DC – January 20, 2015) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Equilon Enterprises LLC, doing business as Shell Oil Products US, Motiva Enterprises LLC, and Deer Park Refining Limited Partnership have agreed to pay a $900,000 civil penalty, in order to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) at refining, distribution, and retail facilities around the country.

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Overview of Company

Shell Oil Company is the United States based subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, and is a natural gas producer, natural gas marketer, gasoline marketer and petrochemical manufacturer. Shell Oil Company and Saudi Aramco subsidiaries each own 50 percent of Motiva Enterprises LLC.

Motiva Enterprises LLC owns three refineries – located in Convent and Norco, Louisiana and Port Arthur, Texas – which have a combined refining capacity of over 1 million barrels per day, making it the third largest manufacturing company in the region.

Equilon Enterprises LLC, doing business as Shell Oil Products US, operates as a subsidiary of Shell Oil Company. It offers refining, marketing, and transportation services for gasoline and other petroleum products. It also operates a network of gasoline stations in the United States. The company has three crude oil refineries and operates lubricant plants, pipelines, and terminal systems in the United States.

Deer Park Refining Limited Partnership is a 50-50 joint venture of Shell Oil Company and a subsidiary of Petroleos Mexicanos. Deer Park Refining Limited Partnership owns the Deer Park Refinery in Deer Park, Texas.

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Overview of Case/Violations

The settlement resolves an EPA enforcement action against Equilon Enterprises LLC, doing business as Shell Oil Products US, Motiva Enterprises LLC, and Deer Park Refining Limited Partnership for CAA violations involving:

  • elevated levels of ethanol in gasoline,
  • violations of the gasoline volatility and sulfur standards,
  • violations of the diesel sulfur standards, 
  • numerous recordkeeping, reporting, sampling and testing violations.

These violations were discovered primarily through EPA’s investigation but also through Shell Oil Products' and Motiva Enterprises LLC's disclosures of noncompliance with the CAA.

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Pollutant Impacts

There are hundreds of different compounds and elements that are known to be emitted from passenger cars, on-highway trucks, various non-road equipment, and the fuels used in these mobile sources. Several of these compounds may negatively impact the quality of air resources so as to have adverse effects on the public health and welfare. Notwithstanding improvements in vehicle emission controls, emissions from motor vehicles are a substantial portion of all air pollution. When inappropriate fuels are used, the emissions of harmful gases from internal combustion engines can increase significantly and emission control equipment can be damaged.

The diesel sulfur standard violations resulted in excess particulate matter, sulfur oxides, and nitrogen oxides. The gasoline volatility violations led to an increase in volatile organic compounds, which contribute to the buildup of ozone during the summer ozone control period. In addition, the elevated levels of ethanol in gasoline can harm emission control components on some vehicles and engines.  

The recordkeeping, reporting, sampling, and testing requirements provide the foundation for EPA’s fuels compliance program. Refiners that violate these requirements undermine the integrity of the fuels regulations and hinder the Agency’s ability to ensure fuel complies with fuel quality and performance standards, potentially leading to an increase in harmful air pollution.

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Civil Penalty

Equilon Enterprises LLC, doing business as Shell Oil Products US, Motiva Enterprises LLC, and Deer Park Refining Limited Partnership will pay a total civil penalty of $900,000.

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For more information, contact:

Tahani Rivers
Air Enforcement Division
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1595 Wynkoop Street (8MSU)
Denver, CO 80202-1129
rivers.tahani@epa.gov
(303) 312-7155

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