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Environment 

Valero makes significant environmental improvements, demonstrating its commitment to a cleaner environment.

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Refining Unit Environmental Stewardship: A Core Value
Valero has achieved significant emission reductions and made improvements in producing cleaner-burning gasoline, diesel and ethanol-blended fuels. For example:
  • Valero spent approximately $525 million to build a state-of-the-art flue-gas scrubber, one of the world's largest, at its Benicia Refinery in California that is slashing sulfur dioxide emissions by 95 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by 55 percent.
  • The company spent approximately $535 million since 2005 on the installation of flare-gas recovery systems at several of its refineries to capture and gather a variety of routine gases that otherwise would be flared.
  • Since 2007, Valero has reduced flaring events more than 73 percent, criteria air emissions nearly 52 percent, and wastewater discharge incidents by 58 percent.
  • Valero refineries reduced energy consumption to 0.43 million Btu per barrel of throughput in 2012, from 0.49 in 2008.

 

Focused on Alternative Energy, Technology

Valero understands the importance of pursuing alternative energy opportunities and using latest technologies to protect the environment.

  • Valero acquired 10 state-of-the-art ethanol plants, making it the first traditional refiner to enter large-scale production of ethanol. Click here to learn more about Valero's ethanol plants.
  • The company built a wind farm in the Texas Panhandle with 33 turbines and capacity to generate 50 megawatts of electricity, enough to power the McKee Refinery next door under optimum conditions and reducing reliance on conventional power sources.
  • Diamond Alternative Energy LLC, a Valero subsidiary, produces "green" diesel fuel from recycled animal fat and used cooking oil, in partnership with Darling International Inc., at a 10,000-barrel-per-day unit at the St. Charles Refinery.
  • New infrared technology allows Valero to quickly find and repair leaks of gaseous hydrocarbons, thereby reducing emissions into the environment.
  • Valero installed new low-temperature oxidation (LoTOx) technology on Fluid Catalytic Cracking Units at several refineries to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.
  • Valero Renewables ethanol plants take pride in their environmental performance, such as plants in Aurora, S.D.; Bloomingburg, Ohio; Charles City, Fort Dodge and Hartley, Iowa; Linden, Ind.; and Welcome, Minn., which operated through 2012 without an environmental incident.
  • Valero is meeting the important challenge of  greenhouse-gas reduction through careful scientific, economic and technical analysis, and adoption of new technologies. View the company’s greenhouse-gas policy statement.
Wind turbine close-up
Recognized for Environmental Efforts
Valero values recognition for its environmental stewardship.
  • A Texas Environmental Excellence Award went to the Valero McKee Refinery in 2013 for the company's wind farm, which operates as Sunray Wind, presented by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The 33-turbine, 50-megawatt wind farm is capable of powering the McKee Refinery, with any excess power going to a local utility. The wind farm won in the Technical/Technology category for reducing reliance on conventional power sources.
  • Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the Louisiana Chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association awarded the Valero St. Charles Refinery for its catalytic cracker conversion project that reduced overall facility air emissions and eliminated thousands of tons of waste catalyst generated annually.
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized the Valero St. Charles and Port Arthur refineries under its National Partnership for Environmental Priorities (NPEP) program, in which the refineries voluntarily committed to recycle oily material in their petroleum coker operations.
  • Quebec's recycling program, Recyc-Quebec, recognized the Jean Gaulin Refinery for reaching its highest "Performance" level in reusing, recycling, upgrading or reducing in quantity more than 80 percent of its plant trash and debris.
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Under its Environmental Justice policy, Valero has partnered with the Community In-power and Development Association Inc. (CIDA) in Port Arthur, Texas, to expand assistance to fence-line organizations, such as the nursing Program of Health Excellence Inc., and improve neighborhoods located near refineries.
Valero Environmental Awards & Honors