Woods Cross refinery to pay pollution fine

Dec 20 2012 - 5:36pm


Holly Refining, Woods Cross
Holly Refining, Woods Cross

WOODS CROSS -- Holly Refining and Marketing Co. said Thursday it has agreed to pay a $115,000 fine for U.S. Clean Air Act violations at the company's Davis County refinery.

The Environmental Protection Agency said an inspection last year detected emissions from a dome-covered storage pit for propane.

Holly maintains the pit, about 100 feet wide and 100 feet deep, is designed to vent small amounts of propane that mostly get recycled back into storage.
The company disputed the violations but said it wasn't worth fighting the EPA.

"It was less a fine and more a negotiated settlement," said Michael Astin, Holly's environmental manager. "The bottom line is, as much as we disagreed, our only option was to go to court. Our position is, we were following regulations."

EPA inspectors used an ultra-violet camera to detect propane emissions from vents that Austin said were designed to circulate emissions.

The pit circulates its own propane to freeze the ground around it, Astin said. The pit is topped by a rubberized polymer cover.

Holly says it plans to decommission the more than 50-year-old storage pit and backfill the hole.



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