Woods Cross refinery to pay $115,000 for clean-air violations

Penalties • EPA says Holly lacked 'robust' plans to deals with chemicals.
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Holly Refining and Marketing Co. will pay $115,000 for violating the Clean Air Act, federal regulators said Thursday.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Holly will pay the penalties in light of its storage and use of flammable substances and hazardous chemicals, which inspectors discovered last year at the Woods Cross refinery. In addition, Holly will move forward with the planned closure of the frozen-earth storage unit and correct other risk-management program violations.

"Companies using chemicals and substances that pose a potential danger to their employees and the public are responsible for having a robust risk-management program in place," said Mike Gaydosh, director of EPA's enforcement program in Denver. "Failure to do so places the environment, employees and the nearby community at risk."

Holly's Mike Astin noted that his company entered into a negotiated settlement with EPA to address regulators' concerns, but that the company does not agree it violated regulations.

"Our position is that we have [a risk-management] program in place," said Astin. "And it is effective and it is functional."