Condemn Refinery for Air Pollution Violations


Target: Eric Slifka, President and CEO of Global Partners LP for the Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery

Goal: Comply with environmental laws and prevent excess air pollution from crude oil operations

Crude oil contains many toxic compounds that pollute the soil, seep into ground water, contaminate the air, and pose serious risks to human health. When crude oil is exposed in the air, research indicates that tiny particles can damage the heart and lungs. One crude oil terminal, the Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery, knowingly handled six times its legally allowed limit of crude oil in 2013. Based in Clastkanie, Oregon, Columbia Pacific handled 300 million gallons of crude oil last year even though its permit was only for 50 million gallons.

In response, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued a $117,000 fine to the Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery for the violation. According to Jenny Root, an environmental law specialist with the DEQ, the fine is so large because of the facility’s size and because owners were told they needed a new permit before increasing operations. “This is a larger, more environmentally sophisticated company that appears to have adequate resources and expertise to avoid the violation,” Root said.

Sign the below petition to encourage the Columbia Pacific Bio-Refinery and its owner company, Global Partners LP, to willingly comply with environmental laws and prevent excess air pollution from crude oil operations. Let this environmental violation serve as an example to other refineries around the world about how taking responsibility for pollution is required and not a choice.


Dear Mr. Slifka,

Ozone pollution due to crude oil operations is a serious concern in America. Crude oil is released into the air during leaks from pipes, fumes from pumps, and emissions from dryers and compressors. It should go without saying that the more crude oil your company handles, the more air pollution it creates.

Under the current permit issued in 2012, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) authorized your company’s handling of 50 million gallons of crude oil. However, your facility actually handled 300 million gallon of crude oil, which is six times the legal limit. I understand that you have recently applied for a permit to receive 1.8 billion gallons of crude oil.

The DEQ has declined to halt operations at your plant because they do not yet pose an imminent threat to human health. However, 1.8 billion gallons of crude oil will certainly impact the environment and human health in a big way. I am urging you to work with local environmental specialists and government entities to devise a safer way to continue your crude oil operations without emitting unsafe levels of toxins into the air.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit:  Pascal Kammer via Flickr

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