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Air permitting for petroleum refinery’s waxy-crude processing project

About this project

client
Confidential
location
Salt Lake City, Utah
completion date
2012

(Stock photo)

Eastern Utah’s Uinta Basin contains significant reserves of black and yellow waxy crude oil. Because of its high paraffin content, waxy crude comes out of the ground in a gel-like form that makes transportation difficult and that few refineries can process. Refineries close to the basin, however, can purchase these crudes at a discount, and technological advances are making transportation and processing easier and less expensive. For these reasons, one of Barr’s refining clients proposed adding waxy-crude processing capabilities to its existing refinery in Salt Lake City. The company hired Barr to assist in applying for an air-quality permit for construction called an approval order. 

Our engineers worked with refinery staff to develop a permitting strategy that would allow the project to comply with state and federal standards without triggering the need for lengthy and expensive federal New Source Review. We then negotiated with the Utah Division of Air Quality (DAQ) to secure a prompt regulatory review. Our client received a draft approval order within five months of submitting the initial application. Barr went on to support the client in negotiating permit terms with the DAQ, responding to public comments from environmental groups, and supporting the legal team through the permit appeal process.

Key team members

Tony Widboom

Vice President
Environmental Engineer

Joel Trinkle

Vice President
Senior Air Quality Consultant

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