Valero is very rigorous in its approach to all environment-related matters during the course of its activities.
Since 2000, the Jean Gaulin Refinery in Lévis has been making additional investments to upgrade its facilities and implement techniques to further protect the environment, produce low-sulphur content gasolines and distillates (diesel, jet fuel, heating oil), bases for gasolines with ethanol content (E10) and install vapour recovery units to minimize VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions into the atmosphere at the docks and at the tank truck loading racks.
Moreover, the refinery has reduced the intensity of its greenhouse gas emissions by 21% in comparison with the base year of 1990 by reviewing its practices, bringing in energy efficiency projects, doubling its capacity and producing low-sulphur content gasolines and distillates.
The tank truck loading racks and the crude oil transit terminal at the Montreal East storage terminal have been equipped with vapour recovery units to minimize the release of VOCs into the atmosphere.
The Pipeline Saint-Laurent project was subject to an extensive assessment to determine its environmental impact and especially how it could be limited. Valero Energy conducted an impact study to ensure that construction was in accordance with the most stringent pipeline construction standards. Environmental protection measures were implemented to protect wooded areas, croplands and all kinds of environments and special attention was paid to all watercourse and river crossings.
Valero is an active member of environmental organizations or forums such as the:
- Alliance Verte, a business initiative whose objective is to make actual and measurable improvements to the environmental performance of the marine industry active in the St. Lawrence River and in the Great Lakes.
- Amis de la Vallée du Saint-Laurent, whose objective is to reconcile the respective interests of environmental protection and economic and social deployment during projects or interventions in the St. Lawrence River and along its shores.
Greening the environment
Achieving integration in harmony with the environment is the principle of the greenbelt next to the refinery in Lévis. Valero undertook an initiative to create a green buffer zone between the industrial park where the Jean Gaulin Refinery is located and the closest residential areas. The land is managed in collaboration with organizations in the region for the purpose of creating recreational areas.
A $9.5 million investment was made to acquire and develop spaces which include Le Parc de la Jetée, le Parc Valero les Écarts, the Abbey Woodland and the Auberivière golf course. The general public has access to an area that is 1.6 times larger than the Battlefields Park in Quebec City.
The development and enhancement of such areas are essential to Valero, and the actions it has taken bear witness to this commitment. The Parc de la Jetée Valero developed in the early 1990s provides a magnificent view of the river and will continue to be a recreational area the general public will be able to enjoy for years to come. At the Valero Abbey Woodlands, Valero Energy, in cooperation with the Association forestière des deux rives (AF2R) and the Lévis Déziel scouts group, has launched a project to plant over 12,000 trees of various species in the park over a four-year period. The Parc les Écarts Valero has numerous pathways where members of the public can go for a walk or cycle.
Go to the section on Parc Valero Les Écarts for more details.
A program to enhance the perimeter of the refinery and the marine terminal is under way and includes tree plantings, the painting of fresques on the tanks along the bicycle path, the dock and making changes to the pipe system structure linking the St. Lawrence River dock and the refinery.