Frontier reports oil spray

When reporting on the use of hydrofluoric acid and past performances of Wyoming Refining Co.’s Newcastle refinery and Frontier Refining Inc.’s Cheyenne refinery, I didn’t have this piece of information about an apparent oil spray event that reached neighborhoods in Cheyenne on February 1. In a recent phone interview, Cheyenne resident Ronald Jones told WyoFile that everything in his neighborhood was coated with fine black dots. “This is the third time in 30 years we’ve been coated in oil,” said Jones. At WyoFile’s request, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality provided this report it received from Frontier Refining on February 2.

On February 1st, a relief valve (RV) in the Crude unit released to atmosphere. The RV caused gas oil droplets to fall downwind of the refinery. The initial investigation showed that the droplets were very faint near I-80 on the refinery property. However, a call from a citizen later revealed that the droplets did in fact go south of the interstate into a few neighborhoods off of Fox Farm. They have a plan in place to address those issues and remove the droplets from the cars with free car washes to those affected.

So far, no enforcement action has been listed by Wyoming DEQ related to the spill.

— Dustin Bleizeffer, WyoFile editor-in-chief

Dustin Bleizeffer is a Report for America Corps member covering energy and climate at WyoFile. He has worked as a coal miner, an oilfield mechanic, and for 25 years as a statewide reporter and editor primarily...

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