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Permit Issued for HollyFrontier Expansion

Dan Bammes
The HollyFrontier oil refinery in Woods Cross, Utah

  The HollyFrontier oil refinery in Woods Cross has been given a green light from the Utah Division of Air Quality to triple its refining capacity – even as it’s promised to reduce pollution.  

The expansion will mean hundreds of millions of dollars of new investment in the refinery as well as at least sixty new jobs.  But HollyFrontier spokesperson Mike Astin says there are still challenges to deal with from groups opposed to it.

Astin says, “If it had been issued a year ago, I’d been jumpin’ up and down and scheduling a party, but it’s been drug out so long that it’s hard to get too euphoric about it.”

Doctor Brian Moench with Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment is promising to fight the permit even as the company begins work on new facilities.

Moench tells KUER, “We will be filing, first an injunction to stop it, and then we’ll be filing an official appeal as per the process that is required.”

Moench accuses HollyFrontier of using formulas to calculate its future emissions that don’t reflect the numbers that government agencies and other refineries have used.

Barring legal obstacles, Astin says the first phase of the expansion should be finished by 2015 and the second in about 2017.

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