By Molly Messick
Frontier Refining has about two months to tell the EPA how it plans to remediate a wastewater management pond that it has been using to store hazardous waste. Mike Risner, the Director of Legal Enforcement for the EPA's Denver office, says Frontier's use of that pond at its Cheyenne facility was illegal.
"If they were going to use the pond to store hazardous waste they should have obtained a permit from either us or the state. And in order to store hazardous waste there's all kinds of lining requirements, leachate monitoring, that type of thing. And they did none of that."
The EPA is seeking a nearly 7 million dollar fine. Risner says the pond has a capacity of about 2 and a half million gallons, and that the waste illegally stored there could include carcinogens like hexavalent chromium and benzene, lead and other substances. He says the EPA doesn't know whether that kind of material has migrated away from the pond or entered groundwater. Frontier is required to submit a plan for assessing the damage.