AFPM Members are Improving America’s Environment

AFPM Members are Improving America’s Environment

American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers members are strongly committed to environmental protection, have an outstanding record of compliance with the Clean Air Act, and have invested hundreds of billions of dollars to dramatically reduce emissions as measured by EPA.

Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers Have Significantly Reduced Emissions

  • AFPM members have made major emissions reductions while increasing production output and meeting stringent regulations. Emissions of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) decreased by 66% from 1990 to 2013.[1] At the same time, emissions of criteria air pollutants (sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter) declined by 80 percent.[2] Between 1996 and 2011, refiners’ emissions of chemicals monitored under the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) also decreased by 35 percent.

  • The chemical manufacturing sector’s normalized emissions of all TRI substances declined 62 percent from 1996 to 2011. Normalized emissions of HAPs declined 64 percent between 1996 and 2005.
  • Fuel and petrochemical manufacturers have made considerable investments to comply with federal regulations. Between 1990 and 2012 U.S. refiners have invested $137.6 billion toward improving the environmental performance of its products, facilities and operations in technologies to produce even cleaner fuels and meet the growing variety of state and local mandates for fuel formulation. Moreover, by 2010 U.S. refining companies had invested upwards of $20 billion to comply with new clean fuel regulations to reduce the sulfur content of gasoline and both highway and off-road diesel.

Economy Wide Emissions have Decreased Dramatically, Despite Increased Economic Activity

  • EPA data shows total emissions of the six principal air pollutants in the United States (carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds – hydrocarbons, particulate matter and sulfur dioxide) have decreased by 63 percent since 1980.

Emissions from Transportation Fuels are Continuously Decreasing

  • Since 2004, refiners have reduced sulfur levels in gasoline by 90 percent, from an average of 300 parts per million (ppm) in 2004 to an average of 30 ppm today.
  • In Jan. 2001, EPA issued rules requiring refiners to reduce the sulfur content in highway diesel by 97 percent. EPA’s 2004 rule required refiners to reduce the sulfur content in non-road diesel.
  • There have been significant Mobile Source Air Toxics (MSAT)/gasoline benzene content reductions. Benzene content in conventional gasoline dropped 45 percent in 2011 for most refineries, and will drop further for small refineries in 2015.

Overall Fuel and Transportation Sector Emissions Are Continuously Decreasing

  • From 1970 to 2008 in highway vehicles:
    • Carbon Monoxide (CO) emissions were reduced 76.2 percent.
    • Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) emissions were reduced 58.8 percent.
    • Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) emissions were reduced 76.6 percent.
    • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emissions were reduced 79.8 percent.
  • [1] “Historical Air Emissions from United States Petroleum Refineries”, Thomas A. Nelson, April 2015.
  • [2] Ibid

Historical Air Emissions from United States Petroleum Refineries