Salt Lake City Refinery Chevron
Salt Lake City, Utah boast two oil refineries. One is currently owned by the Chevron Corporation and produces up to 45,000 barrels of crude oil on a daily basis. The facility was built originally in 1948, and has been run by Chevron since the beginning. Over the years the City of North Salt Lake has made several attempts to annex the area of land that houses the Chevron refinery, but to date the company has been successful at thwarting their efforts and maintaining the facility.
Chevron's plant has come under attack from local and national environmental groups. They claim that the plant, along with the other facilities located in Salt Lake City, use hydrofluoric acid on the site. This is a very hazardous substance, and the groups have made claims that refinery owners could switch to safer and more environmentally friendly materials. Another issue that has been brought up is that the plant represents a prime target in the event of a terrorist attack. Some fear that an attack on the plant could result in up to 590,000 deaths.
Despite the battles with the city itself and environmental agencies, the Chevron facility has continued to grow and thrive. The corporation has had several run ins with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and has agreed to several settlements regarding violations of the Clean Air Act at several of their facilities.
Earlier in the history of the Salt Lake City plant, the company faced another large issue, in the form of an extreme health hazard found within the plant itself. Years ago, most every oil refinery used products that were made out of asbestos. At the time it was a very popular material for industrial items, largely owing to the fact that it is able to endure extreme temperatures such as those produced in the oil refining process. It was not until many years after the discovery of asbestos that it was found to be a hazardous substance, and by then it could be found in refineries, schools, homes and numerous other locations all across the country.
The problem with the asbestos based products was that over time they would start to break apart, and that would release miniscule asbestos fibers into the air. These fibers were often inhaled by workers, and they could also attach to clothing and be unknowingly transported to anywhere plant employees went. This caused an even large spread of asbestos to the general public.
Any person who does inhale asbestos faces potentially extreme health hazards. It is now known to cause respiratory damage as well as a cancerous disease called mesothelioma. These diseases are sometimes fatal, and therefore anyone who may have been exposed to asbestos is strongly urged to be examined thoroughly by their healthcare provider.
Last modified: December 09, 2009.