|ENTERPRISE PRODUCTS PARTNERS L P filed this Form 10-K on 02/28/2018|
We believe our operations are in material compliance with applicable environmental and safety laws and regulations. In addition, we expect that compliance with existing environmental and safety laws and regulations will not have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows. However, environmental and safety laws and regulations are subject to change. The trend in environmental regulation has been to place more restrictions and limitations on activities that may be perceived to impact the environment, and thus there can be no assurance as to the amount or timing of future expenditures for environmental regulation compliance or remediation, and actual future expenditures may be different from the amounts we currently anticipate. New or revised regulations that result in increased compliance costs or additional operating restrictions, particularly if those costs are not fully recoverable from our customers, could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
On occasion, we are assessed monetary sanctions by governmental authorities related to administrative or judicial proceedings involving environmental matters. See Part I, Item 3 of this annual report for additional information.
Our operations are associated with regulatory permitted emissions of air pollutants. As a result, we are subject to the CAA and comparable state laws and regulations including state air quality implementation plans. These laws and regulations regulate emissions of air pollutants from various industrial sources, including certain of our facilities, and also impose various monitoring and reporting requirements. Such laws and regulations may require that we obtain pre-approval for the construction or modification of certain projects or facilities expected to produce air emissions or result in an increase in existing air emissions, obtain and strictly comply with the requirements of air permits containing various emission and operational limitations, or utilize specific emission control technologies to limit emissions. Increasingly, environmental groups are challenging permit modification and permit renewal requests to seek more stringent provisions. Our failure to comply with applicable requirements could subject us to monetary penalties, injunctions, conditions or restrictions on operations, and enforcement actions, and our inability to renew or secure a needed modification to existing permits could adversely affect our operations. We may also be required to incur certain capital expenditures for air pollution control equipment in connection with obtaining and maintaining operating permits and approvals for air emissions.
The CWA and comparable state laws impose strict controls on the discharge of crude oil and its derivatives into regulated waters. The CWA provides penalties for any discharge of petroleum products in reportable quantities and imposes substantial potential liability for the costs of removing petroleum or other hazardous substances. State laws for the control of water pollution also provide varying civil and criminal penalties and liabilities in the case of a release of petroleum or its derivatives in navigable waters or into groundwater. Spill prevention control and countermeasure requirements of federal laws require appropriate containment berms and similar structures to help prevent a petroleum tank release from impacting regulated waters. The EPA has also adopted regulations that require us to have permits in order to discharge certain storm water run-off. Storm water discharge permits may also be required by certain states in which we operate and may impose certain monitoring and other requirements. The CWA further prohibits discharges of dredged and fill material in wetlands and other waters of the U.S. unless authorized by an appropriately issued permit. We believe that our costs of compliance with these CWA requirements will not have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
The primary federal law for crude oil spill liability is the OPA, which addresses three principal areas of crude oil pollution: prevention, containment and clean-up and liability. The OPA applies to vessels, offshore platforms and onshore facilities, including terminals, pipelines and transfer facilities. In order to handle, store or transport crude oil above certain thresholds, onshore facilities are required to file oil spill response plans with the USCG, the DOT’s Office of Pipeline Safety (“OPS”) or the EPA, as appropriate. Numerous states have enacted laws similar to the OPA. Under the OPA and similar state laws, responsible parties for a regulated facility from which crude oil is discharged may be liable for remediation costs, including damage to surrounding natural resources. Any unpermitted release of petroleum or other pollutants from our pipelines or facilities could result in fines or penalties as well as significant remediation costs.