Still No TCEQ Permit Application Filed for Proposed Refinery
BRUNI - In November 2016, Raven announced plans to build the South Texas Energy Complex, an oil refinery near Laredo, TX, between the towns of Bruni and Hebbronville, which they estimate will cost $500 million. Since the announcement, Raven has claimed a wide-range of dates for submitting a TCEQ permit application.
On February 1, Raven CEO, Christopher Moore, told the San Antonio Business Journal the company expected to submit a permit application by the end of the first quarter. With the end of Q1 2017 approaching, on March 29, Moore was quoted in Engineering News-Record saying engineering design is "just shy of 80%" complete. "We hope to be finalizing our engineering in the next 30-60 days." After multiple missed deadlines and eight months ignoring a dialogue with the community that will be directly affected, can Raven be trusted to build and operate a refinery? The STAR Coalition calls for public accountability, transparency, and a full release of project details from Raven.
The South Texans Against the Refinery (STAR) Coalition, formed to oppose the proposed Raven Petroleum refinery in Duval County, is calling on Raven to release detailed project plans, to allow for an open community conversation on the environmental and health risks. An approved permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is required before Raven can begin construction, and the company has missed yet another self-imposed deadline to file a permit application. This development continues a pattern by Raven of publicly setting timelines and expectations and not adhering to them.
"Raven Petroleum has demonstrated once again that they aren't reliable," said Tricia Cortez, STAR Coalition member and Executive Director of the Rio Grande International Study Center. "Operating a refinery puts the environment, people's health, and our safety at risk. This has been shown in countless refinery accidents and tragedies in Texas and throughout the world. Raven has no track record to show it is up to managing such a public risk."
Without filing a TCEQ permit application by this time, it will be nearly impossible for Raven to begin construction of the proposed refinery in 2017 and operational by the end of 2018, as the company often claims. While Raven has once again blown through a deadline, several government related entities are making policy decisions based on Raven's ever-changing timeline. Without a TCEQ permit application and $500 million from investors, the project cannot move forward. If the proposed refinery is founded on smokescreen promises, the community deserves to know the truth.
About South Texans Against the Refinery: South Texans Against the Refinery (STAR) is a coalition of residents, landowners, and organizations who are concerned that Raven Petroleum's proposed refinery in the tri-county area (Duval, Webb, and Jim Hogg counties) will cause harmful air pollution, threaten local water supplies, and disrupt area wildlife for generations to come.