Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
North Salt Lake refinery will pay fine, spend $18M under deal with EPA
North Salt Lake » Big West Oil agrees to install latest emission controls to settle alleged pollution violations.
First Published Aug 23 2013 12:34 pm • Last Updated Feb 14 2014 11:33 pm

Federal regulators and operators of the Big West Oil refinery in North Salt Lake have agreed to a settlement calling for installation of $18 million in emissions controls and payment of a $175,000 penalty for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act.

The deal is the latest in a series of settlements with refineries nationwide that has allowed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to crack down on pollutants that contribute to summer and winter smog, as well as acid rain. The pollutants not only degrade the environment in general but cause health damage that is especially hard on the very young, the very old and people with heart and lung problems.

At a glance

The EPA’s refinery pollution crackdown

The Environmental Protection Agency has been taking a hard look at refineries since 2000. Since then:

The agency has signed 31 settlements with refiners that account for more than 90 percent of the nation’s petroleum refining capacity.

Companies and the EPA have reached agreements covering 107 refineries in 32 states and territories.

Refiners have promised to cut key pollutants by more than 360,000 tons per year.

Affected companies have pledged or installed more than $6.5 billion in new pollution controls.

The companies have paid more than $93 million in penalties.

Four of the five refineries straddling the Salt Lake/Davis County borders have signed consent decrees with EPA.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"EPA continues to secure significant settlements with refineries that benefit public health and improve air quality in our communities," said Shaun McGrath, the top administrator in EPA’s Denver regional office. "Today’s agreement will help bring Big West Oil’s refinery up to date with industry standards to protect the environment."

The consent decree, which must be finalized in federal court, also requires to spend $253,000 to beef up safety with better monitoring and management of hydrofluoric acid releases the site.

"We have appreciated EPA’s and the state’s willingness to work with us in finding workable methods for making the desired reductions," the company said in an emailed statement. "The mutually agreed decree entered today will require Big West to spend tens of millions of dollars on pollution control equipment and procedures, and will result in significant reductions in emissions."

In agreeing to the settlement, the company does not admit guilt.

The statement said Big West, an Ogden-based company that produces about 35,000 barrels a day of gasoline and diesel at its North Salt Lake refinery, is committed to responsible environmental stewardship, while providing great jobs for the state of Utah and supplying the fuel that runs our economy and benefits all of its citizens."

The refinery will release a total of 226 tons less sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter each year, thanks to the agreement, said the EPA and the Justice Department, which announced the settlement jointly on Friday.

With the announcement of this settlement, all four of Utah’s major refineries are now covered by EPA agreements. The timing is good, because the plants are significant sources of pollutants like NOX and particulates that the state is trying to cut in order to meet federal pollution standards. The plan is overdue at EPA, and the Utah Division of Air Quality intends to submit a comprehensive cleanup plan by the end of the year.


story continues below
story continues below

Twitter: @judyfutah

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.