Big West Oil, LLC resolves chemical risk management violations at North Salt Lake facility
Company corrects Clean Air Act deficiencies to reduce risk of accidental release of flammable mixtures and hydrofluoric acid
SALT LAKE CITY – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced a Clean Air Act settlement in which Big West Oil, LLC (Big West Oil) has agreed to pay a $344,364 penalty and address violations of Risk Management Plan requirements at its petroleum refining facility in North Salt Lake, Utah. The company has been cooperative in correcting all identified deficiencies and has also agreed to improve the maintenance of process equipment to reduce the possibility of an accidental release of hazardous chemicals at the facility.
“This agreement will improve the safety of those who live and work in North Salt Lake for years to come,” said EPA Region 8 Enforcement Director Suzanne Bohan. “Big West Oil has taken the necessary steps to improve the management of flammable mixtures and hydrofluoric acid at their facility and reduce the hazards of toxic chemicals to workers, the public, and the surrounding community.”
The settlement, filed as a Consent Agreement on January 13, 2021, resulted from a 2016, EPA inspection at the Big West Oil facility that revealed several Clean Air Act Risk Management Plan violations related to the management of flammable mixtures and hydrofluoric acid; including deficiencies associated with process safety information, hazard analysis, mechanical integrity, and operating procedures.
This case is part of EPA’s National Compliance Initiative to reduce risks from chemical accidents, and it addresses compliance within an industry sector– petroleum refining – which can pose serious risks from such accidents. Following recommendations made by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board in April of 2019, EPA Region 8 is focused on ensuring compliance with the Risk Management Plan Rule at petroleum refining facilities that store and process hydrofluoric acid.
The Big West Oil facility is subject to Clean Air Act Risk Management Plan regulations because it stores and processes large quantities of flammable mixtures and hydrofluoric acid, a hazardous substance that is highly toxic, and when released to air, may cause severe injury, burns, or death. The Risk Management Plan Rule, or Section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act, requires facilities holding more than 10,000 pounds of flammable mixture or 1,000 pounds of hydrofluoric acid to develop a Risk Management Plan and submit that plan to EPA.
Risk Management Plans address: the proper design and maintenance of equipment such as pipes and vessels; emergency preparedness; and the ability to minimize releases that may occur. They also provide valuable information to local fire, police, and emergency response personnel to prepare for and respond to chemical emergencies. Making these plans available to the public also fosters communication and awareness to improve accident prevention and emergency response practices at the local level.
For more information on the Clean Air Act and Risk Management Plan requirements: