HELENA—The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is accepting public comment on a draft Environmental Assessment (EA), which evaluates impacts from a proposed permit modification to ExxonMobil’s hazardous waste permit issued for their refinery located in Billings, Mont. in Yellowstone County.
The hazardous waste permit modification includes changes to maintenance requirements
for two areas that formerly treated refinery waste in the soil. The permit modification is being requested to allow for a new rail car storage development project called the Rails Project. The Rails Project includes construction of railroad tracks over approximately 35 acres of land east of the active portion of the refinery. To accommodate changes in surface elevation needed for track installation, a portion of the soil within the former treatment areas would be excavated and the material would be placed in a different location of the former treatment area. Groundwater monitoring wells may also be relocated to accommodate construction activities and continue to conduct effective groundwater monitoring on the site.
DEQ is currently accepting public comment for the draft until May 10, 2021. To submit comment and view the draft EA, permit modification, and a fact sheet visit http://deq.mt.gov/Public/publiccomment. A hard copy of the draft EA and accompanying documents will be made available, if requested.
Only the draft EA is open for public comment. Public comment on ExxonMobil’s permit modification request occurred Jan. 21 to March 23, 2021, with no comments received. Based on the comments received on the draft EA, DEQ will make a final decision on whether to finalize ExxonMobil’s permit modification. Notice of DEQ’s decision will be given to ExxonMobil and each person who submitted written comments or requested a notice of the decision.