Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary David Small recently issued a $150,000 fine in a notice of penalty assessment and secretary’s order to the Delaware City Refining Co. and PBF Energy for violating an earlier DNREC order that allowed the refinery to ship crude oil from Delaware City to only its Paulsboro, New Jersey, facility as a condition of DNREC’s granting an air permit to PBF Energy and DCRC in 2013.

DNREC’s investigation found that PBF Energy violated the order throughout 2014, when it made 17 barge shipments of crude oil over 15 days to locations other than PBF Energy’s Paulsboro refinery. DNREC determined that the Delaware City refinery had violated the order not only by failing to make timely disclosure of those shipments to DNREC, but had also concealed the nature and extent of the shipments and misrepresented to DNREC the number of shipments that went to other facilities.

The excerpt below from the 2013 order reiterates the representations made by DCRC, and that DCRC, upon occurrence of any change in circumstances or operations with respect to the crude oil terminal, was required by DNREC to provide notice and take additional action:

“Applicant stated on the record that the proposed use would be consistent with the past use and that the activity would be limited to the transfer of North American-produced crude oil from the facility’s docks onto barges to be transported up the Delaware River to Applicant’s sister company refinery in Paulsboro, New Jersey, also owned by PBF Energy.”

The order further states: “This determination may be subject to change should the department determine that the proposed usage has changed or that the information in this record is incorrect or incomplete. Applicant should request a coastal zone status decision if future physical or operational changes are intended or implemented.”

The Delaware City Refining Co. and PBF Energy have 30 days to appeal the penalty and secretary’s order, which can be found at dnrec.delaware.gov/Info/Pages/SecOrders_Enforcement.aspx.