Shell Chemical earns EPA award

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 28, 2005

NORCO — Shell Norco Chemical received the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Partnership for Environmental Priorities (NPEP) Achievement Award at a recent ceremony in Washington D.C.

The plant was one of 21 companies throughout the country to accept the prestigious award.

The Norco facility was recognized for the development of processing arrangements to recycle spent lead oxide catalyst previously sent to land disposal.

Lead recovery was targeted as a speficid focus area as it was the site’s last sizeable hazardous waste stream routinely disposed.

In the past two years, the effort sent 123 tons of spent catalyst to recycling processes, recovering 22 tons of lead.

EPA’s NPEP program is directed toward reducing 31 Priority Chemicals found in products and wastes by finding solutions that eliminate or substantially reduce the use of Priority Chemicals in production or on recovering or recycling these chemicals where they cannot easily be eliminated or reduced at the source.

EPA has established a goal of reducing the amount of Priority Chemicals reported to the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) by ten percent by 2008, using the year 2001 as a baseline.

Three of the targeted chemicals are Lead, Cadmium and Mercury, metals that are also a high priority in the U.S. commitment to international waste minimization efforts.

According to Shell Chemical Norco Staff

Engineer Fred Goodson, lead in the plant is recovered in a process similar to that used to recover lead from automobile batteries.

&#8220Without a viable source reduction option, Shell determined to examine the possibility of recovering the lead value instead of sending the spent material to landfill,” Goodson says. &#8220Evaluation and consultation with the EPA led to the agency’s opinion the recovery option was preferable to land disposal.”

&#8220Developing a life-cycle as opposed to a disposal option for materials management is not a trivial process,” he emphasizes. &#8220But while we faced several challenges to reach the recycling goal, Shell Chemical Norco is proud of its commitment to reducing environmental footprints and its recognition by the National Partnership for Environmental Priorities.”