Wastewater Pollution from Petrochemical Refining Industries: Modernizing Treatment Technologies & Downstream Impacts

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2024-04-26

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Abstract

The Clean Water Act of 1972 was created to regulate pollutant discharge into the surface waters of the United States and aims to produce fishable, swimmable waters across the U.S. and eliminate the pollution of navigable waters by 1985. Over the last few decades, petrochemical refineries have expanded capacity and the volume and variety of the pollutants they discharge have increased exponentially. Through the Clean Water Act, the EPA is required to set effluent limit guidelines (ELGs) for discharge based on the best available treatment technologies (BATs). However, revisions have not been made since 1985 and standards do not reflect the advances in the BATs used by oil refineries. Our research aims to provide evidence to the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) to advocate for updated pollution control standards enforced by the Clean Water Act, identify possible explanatory factors for differences in effluent levels, and evaluate the impacts on downstream populations disproportionately affected by refinery discharges.

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Satagopan, Nanditha Ram, Tiajahlyn Furr and Dili Li (2024). Wastewater Pollution from Petrochemical Refining Industries: Modernizing Treatment Technologies & Downstream Impacts. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/30583.


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