How to deal with petro chemical waste and petro chemicals in your backyard
By David Weigel, The Washington TimesWashington (CNN) It’s been the biggest challenge for homeowners in rural areas to clean up their own petro waste.
The American Petroleum Institute and other major petro-chemical companies have spent millions of dollars lobbying against the Environmental Protection Agency’s new rule requiring that petro and chemical waste be treated at least as seriously as hazardous waste.
They have also lobbied hard for a rule that would give the EPA authority to levy fines on companies for violations of the new rule.
But in rural communities where petro companies are headquartered, the new rules have not been widely popular.
Some homeowners in those communities have complained about the smell and fumes and have refused to clean their property, even though the EPA says petro is a hazardous waste product.
They say the rules are not enforceable.
“It is clear that the EPA has not been able to reach a consensus on the scope of the rule and the regulatory framework,” said David Weisberg, a senior policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council, which has fought to get the rule enforced.
“The EPA has done a very poor job in communicating this to the public and Congress.”
The EPA says it will soon release an updated rule for petro, and it is considering whether to go after the companies for violating the rule.
But for the time being, the EPA is holding off on enforcing the rule for three years.
That’s a good thing for homeowners, Weisburg said.
While many petro businesses are located in states where the pollution problem has been most severe, petro facilities in Texas and Ohio have been able a lot more.
Petrochemical plants in Texas, which employ about 10,000 people, employ 1,500, according to the American Petroleum Association.
The industry employs about 1.5 million people in the United States, according a recent survey by the Energy Information Administration.
The poll found that petrodollars accounted for about 6% of the industry’s revenue.
The remaining 70% comes from other businesses, such as fertilizer, pet food, pet insurance, and insurance.
A petro business, by comparison, is the most important employer in the U.S. and employs more than 200,000 workers, according the American Institute of Philanthropy.
But the new petro rule is making it difficult for the industry to attract more people.
The EPA said it will start enforcing the rules by the end of March.