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REGIONAL EPA OFFICE ORDERS CHEVRON REFINERY TO SHUT DOWN HUGE CLEAN-GASOLINE PROJECT

 EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's move to shut down a major, federally mandated clean- fuels project at Chevron's refinery here could seriously delay delivery of these fuels to the public and throw more than 300 people out of work, Chevron (NYSE: CHV) said today.
 The EPA's West Coast office on Thursday ordered Chevron's El Segundo Refinery to cease work on the project at 2 p.m. today.
 "We're stunned by this sudden order by the regional EPA office," said Mike Holmes, general manager of the El Segundo refinery. "We want to meet the deadlines for delivering cleaner fuels to the public. Until today, we thought the EPA wanted that, too."
 Holmes said the refinery's contractor has more than 300 people doing preliminary work on the project, and that "we don't know when they will be able to go back to work."
 Chevron is making huge investments and undertaking a highly complex project at El Segundo to meet state and federal clean fuels requirements, which will improve air quality.
 "We've been working cooperatively since March 1992 with the local South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), which enforces the federal and state clean air laws. But now the EPA regional office is suddenly shutting down the project," said Holmes. "We're extremely disappointed by this confusing action. This hurts the local economy and undermines the effort to achieve cleaner air in the Los Angeles basin."
 Chevron has urgently requested a meeting with EPA Region 9 officials and has scheduled news briefings for 2 p.m. at the El Segundo refinery (room 202) and in San Francisco (575 Market Street, 40th floor) to discuss the EPA actions.
 The El Segundo refinery is working on a Reformulated Gasoline Project involving nine new or reconfigured facilities costing more than $700 million. Over the next three years, the project will equip the refinery to make gasolines designed to reduce tailpipe emissions 30 to 40 percent.
 "We've done some preliminary field work on the clean fuels project, and as we understand it, the EPA takes exception to this," said Holmes.
 "Yet the work is in full compliance with the local air district's requirements, and without it we won't be able to meet the deadline for producing the cleaner fuels. There have been no environmental impacts whatsoever from these activities, so the EPA's order makes no sense to us. Further, the local district strictly prohibits connecting and operating any equipment until a permit is issued."
 The new fuels are mandated by the Federal Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and the California Air Resources Board's Phase II reformulated gasoline specifications. The deadline for meeting federal standards is Jan. 1, 1995. State requirements take effect in 1996.
 Chevron's El Segundo refinery, located near Los Angeles, is one of the largest gasoline suppliers on the West Coast, capable of processing up to 255,000 barrels of crude oil daily.
 -0- 10/1/93
 /CONTACT: Rod Spackman of Chevron's El Segundo Refinery, 310-615-5281; or Jim Hendon of Chevron, 415-894-0108/
 (CHV)


CO: Chevron Corp.; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ST: California IN: OIL SU:

TM-TB -- SF008 -- 7837 10/01/93 13:42 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 1, 1993
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