Comment on environmental assessment of Rosemount refinery’s proposed construction

Comments are being accepted through Feb. 20 for an environmental review of Flint Hills Resources’ proposed construction of two storage spheres, a rail loading rack, and an expanded rail car staging area at its Pine Bend refinery in Rosemount.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has prepared an Environmental Assessment Worksheet for the proposed project. The EAW reviews how a proposed project could affect the environment.

The Flint Hills Resources refinery processes crude oil from western Canada. Products generated at the refinery include gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil, jet fuel, petroleum coke, asphalt and elemental sulfur.

The proposed changes would allow Flint Hills to store and distribute refinery-grade propylene that the refinery already generates. The project would not result in an increase in the refinery’s crude oil processing capacity. If approved, construction would take place between approximately April 2013 and September 2014.

The MPCA also expects to place the refinery’s air emissions permit on public notice at a later date. The draft air permit will also be open for public comment for 30 days. The MPCA may make changes to the draft air permit based on input received during the EAW public comment period and/or on new information gathered as part of the agency’s own review of the project.

Part of the purpose of the EAW is to help the MPCA determine whether an Environmental Impact Statement, a more in-depth environmental review, is needed. The EAW must be completed before the MPCA can issue final permits for the project.

Comments on the EAW must be submitted in writing by 4:30 p.m. Feb. 20 to Steve Sommer, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55151-4194, by email to [email protected] or by fax to (651) 297-2343.

To request a copy of the draft EAW or to inquire about the environmental review process, call Sommer at (651) 757-2746. The documents are also posted online at the MPCA’s EAW and EIS webpage.