I’m writing in response to Scott Pedersen’s letter of March 7, 2013 stating Holly Refinery has “never had a major ecological problem.”
I grew up on a farm, 14 acres of which were west of the old Phillip’s Refinery in West Bountiful on 1100 West. Each spring, when the creek just north of our field overflowed with run-off, our ground was left covered with an oily residue that stunted the growth of crops. Instead of 24-inch tall alfalfa, we were lucky to get sparse 6-inch growth. My father put in underground drainage lines through the field with five cement access portals. In the early summer we could see the water collected in these drains flowing to the west with an oily sheen on the surface. My brother built a beautiful home on this land, but after several years it was condemned and torn down because of the high concentration of petroleum products in the underground drains. We could lower a bottle into the drain, pull up a sample and set it ablaze. Of course this was not Phillips’ problem!
I’m not questioning the support Holly has given the community, but even last summer’s airborne spewage would suggest our civic leaders should take a much closer look at what is really happening to our environment and what could happen in the future with greater expansion.