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Eye On Boise

ConocoPhillips Billings plant manager: ‘We did our homework on this’

Steven Steach, Billings refinery manager, testifies at the megaloads hearing on Thursday (Betsy Russell)
Steven Steach, Billings refinery manager, testifies at the megaloads hearing on Thursday (Betsy Russell)

ConocoPhillips has called Steven Steach, manager of its Billings refinery, to testify. "For the last 60 years we've been supplying transportation fuels to the Rocky Mountain Region," Steach said. "We're about 10 percent of the refining capacity in this region." Steach noted that the plant has 300 employees and 150 contractors, and while most are there working today, a "large contingent" came over for the hearing "to show their support."

Steach said it was "absolutely not" a corporate gamble for Conoco to ship its drums to Lewiston before getting ITD over-legal load permits. "We did our homework on this and we did our research," he said. "We've done extensive engineering. ... We hired an expert, Emmert. ... We ran their study by five other nationwide transportation firms and they all concurred with the results." Steach also said he doesn't believe the drums would be usable if they were cut again; each already has been cut in half for transport.



Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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