air emissionsprotecting air quality
Chevron is committed to protecting air quality by managing emissions from our operations. Our air emissions Corporate Core Environmental Aspect* includes criteria pollutants [oxides of nitrogen (NOx), oxides of sulfur (SOx) and particulate matter (PM)], volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants. Not part of our definition of air emissions are greenhouse gases (GHGs), including methane. GHGs are included as a separate environmental aspect: energy efficiency and greenhouse gas.
management of air emissions
The expectations in our updated Operational Excellence Management System (OEMS) include that our organizations reduce air emissions using a risk-based approach that addresses potential acute and cumulative impacts across the life of our assets. Organizations monitor and analyze performance to verify that the safeguards designed to reduce air emissions are in place and functioning. Our Environmental Stewardship (ES) process, our Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA) process and our Upstream-specific Air Emissions Environmental Performance Standard (Air Emissions EPS) are three examples of how we execute the air emissions-related expectations of our OEMS.
The ES process directs our businesses to create an inventory of how their activities interact with the environment. These environmental aspects, including air emissions, and their related potential impacts are then used to identify, assess and prioritize environmental risk and improvement opportunities.
The ESHIA process is used by capital project teams early in the life of a project to assess the potential impacts of our activities on air quality. An important part of this process is assessing existing environmental and social conditions, such as local air quality. This information is used during project planning to help us consider and address potentially significant air emissions from our operations in relation to air quality.
Our Air Emissions EPS is applied across our Upstream businesses and capital projects and sets an expectation to conduct an air quality impact assessment for certain equipment. If needed, based on the results of the impact assessment, the Air Emissions EPS specifies design requirements, such as equipment emission standards and control technologies, to reduce air emissions from our new capital projects. Our Air Emissions EPS also sets forth leak detection and repair programs to reduce emissions of VOCs from sources that meet the applicability requirements of the standard.
We have also made significant investments in equipment to reduce air emissions associated with our refinery operations and to meet regulatory requirements.
reporting our performance
We collect data on our air emissions, which enables us to make informed business decisions around protection of air quality. We are committed to annually reporting performance data on the common reporting elements in the 2015 edition of the IPIECA/API/IOGP** Oil and gas industry guidance on voluntary sustainability reporting, as follows:
The Singapore Refining Company, a joint venture in which Chevron holds a 50 percent interest, completed a major capital project in 2017 that resulted in a reduction in SOx emissions and increase in energy efficiency. The $500 million project involved constructing gasoline clean fuels units and a dual-train cogeneration plant (“Mogas Cogen”), as well as retrofits to existing furnaces to burn cleaner natural gas.
In addition, SRC has also implemented sulphur recovery projects that reduce SOx emissions. All the above projects support the Singapore government’s goals of a cleaner environment and a more efficient energy industry. In addition, the refinery is now producing higher-quality and cleaner-burning gasoline for the Singapore and Malaysia markets.
Refinery modernization project
In 2019, we completed primary construction of the major components of our Refinery Modernization Project, a major investment to enable us to deliver the energy that improves lives, with less environmental impact. The project is a great example of efforts to improve energy efficiency, reduce air emissions overall and increase the safety and reliability of the refinery. Project upgrades include:
- a new hydrogen processing plant that is 20 percent more fuel efficient;
- installing upgraded piping circuits with greater resistance to corrosion;
- built two tanker vessels that meet Tier 3 emission standards;
- the addition of domes to fuel storage tanks; and
- low-nitrogen oxide furnaces and wet electrostatic precipitators to reduce air emissions.
In addition, Chevron worked with a tugboat operator to commission a new multipurpose boat as part of the refinery’s commitment under the Modernization Project. The Caden Foss tugboat is one of the first of its kind and complies with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 4 emission standards for new nonroad diesel engines. Use of this new tugboat will decrease PM and NOx emissions from operations near Chevron’s Richmond Long Wharf.
Community air monitoring program in California
Air monitoring is one of the tools used to measure emissions and help the public better understand local air quality. Since 2013, our refinery in Richmond, California has funded a community air monitoring program. The program, which is operated by an independent expert , provides near real-time data 24 hours a day about air quality in the community. Data is collected and reported from three stations along the refinery’s fence line and three neighborhood stations.
Since the launch of the program, the air monitors have continuously tracked air quality and has been a valuable source of information for the community.
*Consistent with ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 14001, we defined seven types of environmental activities, or Corporate Core Environmental Aspects: accidental release prevention and response, air emissions, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas, natural resources (including land, water and biodiversity), site residual impacts, waste, and wastewater.
**IPIECA (the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues)/American Petroleum Institute/International Association of Oil & Gas Producers.
***Operated basis. Transportation includes Chevron Pipe Line Company and Chevron Shipping Company. Other includes Americas Products, International Products, Chevron Lubricants, Chevron Oronite Company, and Chevron Power and Energy Management Company. Air emissions from Chevron Environmental Management and Real Estate Company are excluded from this reporting. For compiling and reporting air emissions data, Chevron follows regulatory definitions of VOCs. SOx emissions include SO2 and SO3, reported as SO2-equivalent. NOx emissions include NO and NO2 (reported as NO2-equivalent) and exclude N2O. Information regarding air emissions from Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC can be found at www.cpchem.com.