Refinery cited for not immediately informing DNREC about planned shutdown


The Delaware City refinery of PDF Energy has received a violation notice from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control for not providing notice of a shutdown of a key unit at the site.

The shutdown came when a problem was detected in a  coking unit.

The refinery classified the shutdown as a planned event, rather than an emergency.

In the letter, DNREC stated that notice of a shutdown is needed because of the possibility of pollution during various stages that include start-up and to keep the neighboring areas around the refinery informed of situations that can be conspicuous.

Refineries are reluctant to discuss events that might reduce production and lead to speculation in trading markets. 


One example of a public event  is flaring, the presence of a flame that occurs when pressure needs to be reduced, due to an equipment failure or other events.

The letter says DNREC was not informed about the shutdown for more than a day.

The notice was issued in November for the shutdown that occurred in August.

According to the DNREC website, the refinery has not seen unplanned releases of pollutants since the spring of this year.

The letter stated that DNREC reserves the right to take further enforcement actions.