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DEQ fines Global Oil $117,000 for permit violation

State says company far exceeded volumes allowed under current permit


by: FILE PHOTO - A unit train hauling crude oil passes the intersection of Havlik Road and Highway 30 in Scappoose. State regulators say Global Oil LP exceeded its volume allowance of oil shipments from its transloading facility in Port Westward, near Clatskanie.The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality on March 27 issued a civil penalty in the amount of $117,292 to a crude oil transloading company operating at the Port Westward industrial park in north Columbia County.

DEQ issued the penalty to Cascade Kelly Holdings LLC for operating without a required air contaminant discharge permit.

The department claimed in a Feb. 28 public notice the company’s Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery, owned by Massachusetts-based energy company Global Partners LP, had been transloading “significantly” more crude oil per year than allowed under its current DEQ permit.

DEQ’s approval for the company to transload crude oil through the its ethanol plant only allowed for the movement of 50 million gallons per year onto oceangoing vessels, the penalty notice stated.

“The company far exceeded that amount in the first year of conducting crude oil transloading operations,” the notice stated. “Crude oil transloading in excess of the authorized 50 million gallons per year has not been approved by DEQ and constitutes operations and emissions that are not permitted under the company’s ethanol plant Air Contaminant Discharge Permit.”

Because the transloading is said to exceed the 50 million gallons per year allowed under the permit, the activity requires a separate DEQ permit, according to the department.

Cascade Kelly Holdings has applied for an air quality permit to allow for a higher volume of crude transloading. The permit the company seeks would allow the facility to receive and transload almost 1.84 billion gallons of crude oil per year onto oceangoing vessels. DEQ is still considering that permit.

DEQ has ordered Cascade Kelly Holdings to comply with its current ethanol plant air contaminant permit until a new permit is issued.

Dave Monro, DEQ’s regional air quality manager, said in an earlier interview with the Spotlight the Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery exceeded its 50 million gallon-per-year allowance in March 2013, after beginning crude oil shipments in December 2012. He said DEQ learned of the potential permit violation late last year through conversations with company officials.

Monro said Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery officials inquired with DEQ in 2012 about the company’s intention to significantly increase the volume of crude oil transloaded at the facility, soon after DEQ approved the initial permit.

DEQ at that time informed Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery of the requirement to get a new permit, Monro said.