EPA loosens rules to let Joliet's ExxonMobil refinery send gas to hurricane areas
ExxonMobil Oil Corp.'s Joliet refinery will help supply gasoline to areas where motor fuel distribution has been disrupted by Hurricane Harvey, according to a press release from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The Illinois EPA has temporarily lifted a vapor control unit requirement that will allow the refinery to load gasoline onto barges at its Joliet wharf. In forgoing the vapor control unit requirement, the variance will allow ExxonMobil to send higher volumes of gasoline to the affected areas.
The Illinois EPA noted in its release that this variance has precedent, with a similar measure being granted in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The variance is permitted only for as long as ExxonMobil is undertaking relief barge loading operations, or Sept. 22 at the latest. The company will then return to its standard operations with the required vapor control unit.