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Emery Refinery: Green River Petroleum Processing Plant

Emery Refining requested a modification to its previous Approval Order (AO) of June 21, 2103 and submitted a new Notice of Intent (NOI) to the Division of Air Quality (DAQ) on October 10, 2103. DAQ issued an Intent to Approve (ITA) (71.95 KB) on March 25, 2014 for the proposed project changes.

DAQ will hold a 30-day public comment period beginning March 25, 2014 on the ITA. The public will have the opportunity to review and comment on the proposal and the agency’s evaluation of the project’s impact on air quality. If a party requests a public hearing within 15 days of publication of this ITA , the hearing will be held as close as practicable to the location of the project. DAQ will evaluate any comments received during the public comment period and the hearing. The proposed conditions of the AO may be changed as a result of the comments received.


The refinery, which will be located four miles west of Green River, Utah, will consist of two separate processing facilities: a distillation plant for crude oil and a wax plant for black and yellow waxes. The processing plant will consist of distillation towers, process heaters, boilers, storage tanks, wax crystallizers, flare devices, material unloading/loading racks, and various pollution control devices. DAQ required a thorough top-down Best Available Control Technology (BACT) analysis on the project, including crude oil handling, distillation, and wax removal.


Emery Refining proposed a number of modifications to its initial design in its NOI:

  • The crude oil throughput will be North American crude oils.
  • Most of the plant will be built from modular components rather than built in-place.
  • The vacuum unit has been removed from the plant.
  • The product mix has changed.
  • Asphalt has been eliminated as a product.
  • Heat demand and heater and boiler sizes have increased from their original design.
  • The plant will have more components than in the original design.
  • There will be fewer but larger storage tanks.
  • Ultra-low nitrogen oxide (NOx) burners will control NOx in all fuel-burning devices.
  • Hot oil heating systems will heat the storage tanks.
  • Truck and rail loading operations will use refinery storage systems to control emissions.
  • Truck and rail loading operations will use a thermal oxidizer to collect and control emissions.
  • The fire pump engine will increase in horsepower.
  • A diesel-fueled backup pump has been added to the cooling water system.

Processes and Production

The refinery will perform three independent processes:

  • Processing up to 5,000 bpd of black or yellow wax from the Uinta Basin in a wax/lube oil plant and sending it to one of four packaging options: a slabber, priller, pelletizer, or bulk storage.
  • Distilling up to 10,000 bpd of mainly North American sweet crude in a liquid distillation plant into products that are relatively uniform and pumping it into storage tanks.
  • Blending 13,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil with various products and returning it to rail cars for distribution to third parties.

The total crude oil capacity petroleum refinery throughput under the proposal will be 28,000 bpd.


Emery County is an attainment area for the National Ambient Quality Standards (NAAQS) for all criteria pollutants, New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP), and Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) regulations apply. The refinery is subject to Title V permitting under the Clean Air Act.

Emission Limits (in tons per year)

Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (CO2e)98,6626.00
Carbon Monoxide (CO)70.78
Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs)5.43
Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)26.79
Particulate Matter (PM2.5)6.24
Particulate Matter (PM10)6.24
Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)0.56
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)56.40


The Division of Air Quality granted an Approval Order (84.23 KB) (AO) on June 21, 2013, for the Green River Petroleum Processing Plant. The new $225 million refinery will be capable of processing up to 20,000 barrels per day of various oil feedstock.

The Division provided a public comment period from February 4, 2013 to March 7, 2013 for the Emery Refinery Approval Order. DAQ received written comments (memorandum (38.04 KB) that addressed the issues raised in these comments

A petition (162.22) was filed on July 22, 2013 challenging the Division of Air Quality’s June 21, 2013 decision to issue an Approval Order for the petroleum processing plant. An administrative law judge (ALJ) was appointed to adjudicate the petition. Further proceedings are coordinated by the ALJ.

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