Thu., Dec. 9, 2010
ConocoPhillips Billings plant manager: ‘We did our homework on this’
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.