The Environmental Performance Report and Management Plan (EPRMP) for the Petron Bataan Refinery Upgrading Project was updated to include changes in the capacities of the Refinery Master Plan Phase 2 (RMP-2) process units, location of the ashpond, and number of storage facilities. The updates also included the additional RMP-2 process units and other additional support utilities. The Petron Bataan Refinery Upgrading Project allowed for the processing of heavy and cheaper crude oils, reduction of raw material cost, and production of fuels which conform to the more stringent Euro IV environmental standards. Overall, the entire upgrading project substantially improved the energy and yield efficiency of the refinery making it more reliable and economically competitive within the Asia Pacific region.
Aperçu Consultants Inc. conducted the following activities to update the EPRMP:
Geology, Soils, Land Use, and Topography
The baseline geologic, pedologic, topographic conditions as well as current land use of the municipality of Limay was assessed in order to identify critical environmental parameters, assess possible impacts, and identify mitigating measures.
Flora and Fauna
The flora and faunal biodiversity of the project site was assessed. The conservation status of each species observed was also identified. An emphasis was placed on the avifaunal assessments since Bataan is a declared Bird Sanctuary. Species found within the Petron Bataan Refinery compound were known to have high tolerance to areas with high human activities and high levels of industrial noise.
Soil and Groundwater Quality Assessment
An Environmental Site Assessment was done for both the Benzene Tank Farm and Old Sludge Pint. Soil and groundwater samples were taken from appropriate sampling sites then shipped to MGT Environmental Consulting Pty. Ltd. in Victoria, Australia for analyses. Soil samples were tested for Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) and Monocyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. Results from the soil analyses were compared to the DENR Screening Guidelines. Groundwater samples were taken from wells and sampled for TPH, BTEX compounds, and Methyl-tert Butyl Ether (MTBE). Results from groundwater analyses were compared to the DENR Screening Guidelines.
Description of the Aquatic Environment
The nearest water bodies surrounding the Petron Bataan Refinery are Manila Bay (east), Limay Bay (north), and Lamao River (south). Previous studies on these water bodies were assessed and analyzed.
Marine waters adjacent to the Petron Bataan Refinery were surveyed. Marine surveys were representative of the general conditions of the marine ecology in the vicinity of the project site. Benthic communities at risk of being affected by the project’s activities were identified. Spot dives and water sampling was also conducted in selected areas.
Results from previously commissioned studies by the Petron Bataan Refinery relevant to the EPRMP were analyzed. Among these were the geo-resistivity surveys, pumping tests, aquifer hydraulic characterization, pump rating tests, safe yield estimates, sensitivity analysis, surface water availability, water quality, and status of new wells.
Water quality of the effluents from the sewage treatment facility (STF) and oily wastewater treatment plant (OWWTP) over the past five years were checked to see if it consistently conformed to the DENR standard.
Thermal Plume Modeling
The objectives of this study was to generate a local circulation model for the region of interest and to use the resulting current fields as forcing for the thermal plume model. The areal extent of distribution of warm water from the project’s outfall discharge was also examined.
The climate of the project was assessed in order to describe rainfall patterns, relative humidity, annual maximum and minimum temperatures, cloud cover, surface winds, sea and land breezes, and cyclone frequency.
Secondary data from PAGASA synoptic stations in Port Area, Manila was used to describe the project site’s meteorology. Climatological normals and extremes were also assessed.
Air Quality and Sonic Profile
Air quality of the site was described using data from the Self-Monitoring Reports submitted by Petron to the Environmental Management Bureau in 2004-2011. Ambient air quality and sound level measurements were compared to the National Ambient Air Quality Guidelines Values.
Air Quality Modeling
The impact assessment focused on the air quality effects of both the existing refinery operations and proposed expansion using air dispersion modeling (ADM). EMB Guidelines for Air Dispersion Modeling was used in predicting ground-level concentrations of the project pollutant emissions. The USEPA methods were followed in assessing contaminant concentrations against the Clean Air Act air quality guidelines and standards.
Socio-economic and Health Profile
The socio-cultural background, economic environment, and annual vital health statistics of Limay, Bataan was assessed. This was done to see any impacts the project may have on the local community’s life.
Environmental Risk Assessment
A Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) was done to provide a quantitative estimate of the risks associated with the hazardous activities of the project. Quantified risks were assessed by comparing them against various defined criteria. This helped to easily identify potential improvements that were ranked for risk-reduction effectiveness.
The amended Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) is currently undergoing scoping and screening with Reference No. CO-07162020-718