DENVER (KXRM) — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment sent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the Suncor refinery Plant 2 Title V permit for review, requiring the Commerce City refinery to reduce air pollution.
Per law, CDPHE must grant Suncor’s application for renewal of its Title V operating permit if the permit complies with all requirements. CDPHE has the authority to strengthen emissions monitoring and reporting standards in the permit, and the department strengthens the permit. The EPA has 45 days to review the permit and approve it or provide CDPHE feedback.
“We are grateful for the community’s feedback and will continue to listen to them and keep them informed throughout the permitting process for Suncor. The health and wellbeing of Coloradans is our top priority,” said Michael Ogletree, director of the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division.
What would be in the new Suncor permit requirements?
The draft permit includes more stringent controls and requirements on the refinery, many of which were added in response to community feedback. These include the following:
- A requirement for Suncor to post continuous emissions monitoring data
- Stricter monitoring requirements for the refinery’s sulfur recovery plant and fluid catalytic cracking unit
- Additional performance testing requirements to verify hydrogen sulfide emissions from the sulfur recovery plant
- Increased monitoring to ensure the refinery is remaining consistent with its permitted limits for opacity
CDPHE drafted the permit after conducting stakeholder outreach for over a year and convening two virtual listening sessions with the public. The sessions provided space to answer questions and discuss the permit process and associated environmental protections.
The Air Quality Control Commission accepted written comments and convened two formal public comment hearings to listen to members of the public as well. The commission held one meeting during a weeknight and one on a Saturday morning in order to maximize participation.
CDPHE has responded to all public comments and examined the permit application to ensure it was consistent with state and federal law and was protective of public and environmental health.
A public session after review and final approval from the EPA will be held to discuss the permitting process, Suncor’s permit, additional steps which will be take to protect the surrounding community and to answer questions.
A date and timeframe for the meeting will be announced shortly.