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  • Posted April 3, 2010 by
    Encino, Texas
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Toxic America

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    exxonMobil's Kelsey Compressor Station


    ExxonMobil has lots of old facilities in Texas. This is a compressor station on our ranch. Most of ExxonMobil's Texas infrastructure was built between 1919 and 1965. These old facilities are dangerous, poorly maintained, waste resources, and pollute. ExxonMobil has special permits from the state of Texas to operate these old plants. The permits exempt ExxonMobil from the Clean Air Act. This plant only compresses 5,500 mcf a day. All of these emissions to compress a measily 5,500 mcf a day? It's shocking. Kind of different than what ExxonMobil tells us in their television commercials. This whole facility, which was constructed in 1947, could be replaced with a compressor that fits in the back of a pick-up and is very efficient. The current operation consumes almost three times as much field gas to run than goes in the pipeline. Why does Exxon not get a new compressor? Because they are bureaucrats and no one is authorized to make such a decision.

    To view a few hundred still photos of this facility -- check out this album:



    In recent months, the EPA has threatened to sue the State of Texas for the Texas program that exempts ExxonMobil. Texas politicians argue that the Feds have no right to force Texas to force Exxon to follow the Clean Air Act. This week, the EPA issued new rules. I imagine that Exxon's lawyers will spend next week finding a loophole.

    Here is Exxon's own air emissions reported data for the Kelsey Compressor Station in Brooks County Texas per year on their application for exemption: (figures are in pounds/ lbs)


    Total Emissions 1,024,744.99

    Nitrogen Oxides 655,194.78

    Volatile Organic Compounds 175,339.40

    Carbon Monoxide 119,805.60

    Formaldehyde 18,617.20

    Primary PM10 (Includes Filterables + Condensibles) 16,357.80

    Primary PM2.5 (Includes Filterables + Condensibles) 16,357.80

    Hexane 13,283.00

    Benzene 7,767.20

    Toluene 2,022.20

    Ethyl Benzene 0.00

    Xylenes (Mixture of o, m, and p Isomers) 0.00


    These figures are based on the idea that the compressors running in optimal well-maintained conditions. No telling the true emissions from this facility.

    Here is a recent article about the skirmish between the TCEQ and the EPA over permits that allow ExxonMobil to operate in this fashion


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