Regulatory Delays Encountered by Sohio for Its Proposed Crude Oil Pipeline

EMD-79-75: Published: Jun 5, 1979. Publicly Released: Jun 18, 1979.

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The history of the proposed pipeline project known as PACTEX was reviewed. Standard Oil Co. of Ohio (Sohio) sponsored the project which is the first major west-to-east crude oil pipeline and runs between Long Beach, California and Midland, Texas. The delays in the permit process were examined specifically to determine where the responsibility lay for the time consumed.

Sohio encountered its most serious problems in obtaining State and local air quality permits for the terminal in California. Long Beach opponents of the project continued to seek judicial review of actions taken by regulatory agencies. Some 2.5 years elapsed before the local air quality permit was issued. State approval of the local permit is still pending. Because the Los Angeles Air Basin is a nonattainment area, the new source offset policy contained in the Clean Air Act must be complied with by any new source of pollution seeking to locate in the area. Under the Federal and California new source offset policy, the PACTEX terminal and related project activity emissions must be controlled to the greatest degree possible at the source. Any remaining emissions must be offset by even greater reductions in emissions from other existing sources in the area. The problems created by the controversies over the application of the new source offset policy in issuing the air quality permits could have been materially reduced if guidelines or guidance had been available.

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