May 15, 2014 1:33 PM by AP
WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed changes to oil refinery rules that would compel operators to monitor benzene emissions, upgrade storage tank emission controls, ensure waste gases are properly destroyed and adopt new emission standards for delayed coking units.
The move is part of a consent decree that resolved a lawsuit filed by nonprofit environmental attorneys with Earthjustice and the Environmental Integrity Project on behalf of people directly affected by pollution from refineries in Louisiana, Texas and California.
The EPA will take comment on the proposals for 60 days. It also plans to hold two public hearings near Houston and Los Angeles, and will finalize the standards in April 2015.
The agency says the proposals would reduce toxic air emissions by an estimated 5,600 tons per year.