Oluwatobi Adeyinka has seen environmental compliance from both sides — first as a regulator for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and now as an environmental engineer working for Flint Hills Resources.
“We were the ones (TCEQ) that were going out to see and make sure that people were complying, so it really was the other side of the fence,” said Adeyinka. “I had the opportunity to see good actors, bad actors and everything in between when it came to environmental compliance.”
After three and a half years at Flint Hills Resources in Port Arthur, Texas, Adeyinka is unwavering in his opinion of Koch. The facility makes every effort to achieve 10,000 percent compliance as it strives to be one of the best actors. And as an environmental engineer in charge of air compliance at the Port Arthur facility, he says his current role has an even greater impact on the environment than his work at the TCEQ.
“I believe in conserving and optimizing the resources we have. Whenever we make things, we always look for ways to do it better.”
“Koch as a whole definitely puts a lot of resources and focus on making sure that we are really good environmental stewards,” said Adeyinka. “It’s probably head and shoulders over what I thought the culture would be like when it comes to compliance with environmental requirements and really taking care of the environment.”
But his decision to leave TCEQ and head to Koch wasn’t without scrutiny.
“There were a couple of family members who did have some preconceived notions about Koch. And then even some friends that said, ‘How can you work for Koch and consider yourself an environmentalist? Or consider yourself an environmental engineer?’” Adeyinka recalls.
He has an easy answer for such critics:
“I can directly impact what’s going on and be proactive about really making sure that there aren’t any negative environmental impacts, versus, as a regulator, everything you’re doing is more reactive than proactive.”
“It really boils down to some simple principles,” he said. “I believe in conserving and optimizing the resources we have. Whenever we make things, we always look for ways to do it better. We look for ways to reduce our footprint and be more efficient so we use less resources overall. I think that’s a large part of what we do here at FHR and Koch in general. And I think that’s a lot of what goes into being an environmentalist.”
Since 1997, Flint Hills Resources refineries have reduced air emissions by roughly 70 percent.