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Hearing draws support, criticism of oil refinery project

UPDATED: Fri., Nov. 3, 2017

This April 2, 2010 file photo shows a Tesoro Corp. refinery, including a gas flare flame that is part of normal plant operations, in Anacortes, Wash. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)
This April 2, 2010 file photo shows a Tesoro Corp. refinery, including a gas flare flame that is part of normal plant operations, in Anacortes, Wash. (Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)
Associated Press

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – A hearing for a proposed project at an oil refinery at Anacortes has drawn vocal opposition and support.

The Skagit Valley Herald reports that Skagit County’s hearing examiner, Wick Dufford, is weighing a shoreline development permit, one of many the project needs.

Andeavor, formerly Tesoro Corp., is planning upgrades at the refinery to help it meet upcoming federal gasoline emissions regulations. It wants to produce a new product xylene, a chemical compound used to make plastics and other synthetic products.

The refinery would produce up to 15,000 barrels a day of mixed xylenes for export to global markets.

The county’s planning department has recommended approving the permit.

Dozens spoke at a hearing Thursday.

Critics have raised concerns about increased vessel traffic, potential for more oil spills and impacts on wildlife and other natural resources. Supporters say it will bring economic benefits to the area.

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