Industry Market Trends

Industrial Firms Tackle Water Risk with Green Infrastructure

July 15, 2013

There's little question that the world is facing a serious water crisis, and industry is right in the middle of it, competing with agriculture and municipalities for a share of the globe's scarce water resources. The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says industry uses 18.7 percent of available water worldwide and 43 percent in North America. To confront water risks, some companies are pursuing a strategy known as “green infrastructure” or “GI.”

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), green infrastructure is a planned, strategic approach that manages water in a natural way. Normally when we talk about infrastructure, we think about elements like buildings, roads, bridges, energy sources, power transmission, and communications lines -- “gray infrastructure.” But, according to The Conservation Fund, the concept of “infrastructure” can be expanded: “Just as we plan networks of roads, we can plan networks of open spaces and natural resources that connect communities and regions,” says the organization, which works to form collaborations around development of green infrastructure. Green infrastructure can be practiced at various scales, including that of a site, city, or region. Read More

Industry Market Trends

Shell to Spend $115 Million to Cut Air Pollution at Texas Refinery and Chemical Plant

July 15, 2013

The U.S. Dept. of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that Shell Oil and affiliated partnerships have agreed to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at its refinery and chemical plant in Deer Park, Texas. Shell will spend $115 million to mitigate emissions of harmful air pollution from industrial flares and other processes. In addition, the company will pay a $2.6 million civil penalty. An additional $1 million will be invested in a state-of-the-art system to monitor benzene levels at the fenceline of the plant near a residential neighborhood and school. The data will be made available to the public through a website. The Deer Park facility processes approximately 330,000 barrels per day, making it the 11th largest refinery in the U.S. Read More