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Frontier Refining agrees to resolve alleged risk management planning and chemical reporting violations at Cheyenne refinery

Release Date: 10/27/2014
Contact Information: Richard Mylott, U.S. EPA, 303-312-6654; Greg Bazley, U.S. EPA, 303-312-6255

(Denver, Colo. - October 27, 2014) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that Frontier Refining has agreed to pay $153,000 in penalties to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) at its Cheyenne, Wyo. refinery. The agreement resolves alleged violations of the risk management planning requirements of the CAA and Toxic Release Inventory reporting requirements under EPCRA.

The risk management planning provisions of the Clean Air Act require facilities that store chemicals in amounts exceeding regulatory thresholds to develop and implement plans to assist with emergency preparedness, chemical release prevention, and the minimization of any releases that may occur. Frontier Refining’s Cheyenne refinery processes flammable chemical mixtures and hydrogen fluoride over the 10,000 pound and 1,000 pound threshold levels, respectively. EPA inspectors found that the facility had not adequately implemented the risk management planning requirements for these chemicals. These deficiencies included failure to follow internal procedures for inspecting piping at the facility and failure to adequately train employees involved in operating process equipment.

According to the EPA settlement, Frontier Refining also miscalculated chemicals reported to EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory and failed to file reports for chlorine, cobalt compounds, and molybdenum trioxide handled on site. The failure to file TRI forms deprives local communities of the right to know about the chemicals present on site. Frontier Refining has since corrected all the alleged violations.

"Risk management plans and the Toxic Release Inventory protect communities by making sure that facilities provide transparent information and have procedures in place to prevent and respond to potential releases of the chemicals they use,” said Suzanne Bohan, EPA’s enforcement program director in Denver. “EPA appreciates Frontier Refining’s efforts to address these deficiencies.”

EPA’s enforcement action is expected to encourage better compliance with both the CAA risk management planning and EPCRA reporting requirements. It also will ensure communities have accurate information about chemicals being processed, manufactured, or otherwise used at Frontier’s facility and will help federal, state, and local authorities plan for emergencies.
Approximately 40 percent of the population in the vicinity of the facility is minority and low income.

For more information on the Clean Air Act and risk management requirements:

For more information on the EPCRA requirements: