Department of Ecology News Release - March 30, 2017

Public can comment on draft permits for Tesoro project


Tesoro is seeking local and state air quality permits for a clean products upgrade project at its March Point refinery.

The project is intended to help the refinery comply with upcoming federal gasoline requirements and to improve and expand the types of products the refinery makes.  

Tesoro is seeking permits to do the work from the Northwest Clean Air Agency (NWCAA) and the Washington Department of Ecology. The permits address the project’s potential impacts on air quality.

The public can comment on the proposed permits through April 28 at the addresses listed below. Ecology and NWCAA will hold a joint public hearing on the permit decisions on April 27 at Anacortes High School’s Brodniak Hall, 1600 20th St., Anacortes. Doors will open at 6 p.m., followed by the joint public hearing at 6:30 p.m.

This permitting process and hearing are separate from Skagit County’s pending Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) determination for Tesoro’s project. Skagit County’s EIS hearing is scheduled April 17, also at Anacortes High School.

Tesoro proposes to:

  • Install a new system that captures air emissions during the loading of marine vessels.
  • Upgrade a production unit to help reduce the sulfur content in gasoline.
  • Add a new unit to make high-octane products which can be added to gasoline.
  • Add a new unit to separate mixed xylenes that are present in the oil processed by the refinery, so they can be sold as a separate product.

Ecology has been asked to issue a prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permit, which applies to new large facilities or major changes at existing large facilities that could increase air pollution in an area that meets air quality standards.

NWCAA has been asked to issue an order of approval to construct permit, which is required before installing a new source of air pollution or modifying an existing source of air pollution.

Copies of the proposed NWCAA permit, its technical support document, and the project application are available at:

Copies of Ecology’s proposed PSD permit, the technical support document, and the project application are available at:

  • Washington Department of Ecology, Air Quality Program, 300 Desmond Drive SE, Lacey
  • Northwest Clean Air Agency, 1600 S. 2nd St., Mount Vernon

Permit decisions can be appealed to the Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board within 30 calendar days following each agency’s final determination.

High school parking lots will be available for use, but some walking is needed to reach Brodniak Hall due to ongoing school construction.

The Northwest Clean Air Agency is responsible for enforcing federal, state and local air quality regulations in Island, Skagit, and Whatcom counties. In addition to permitting and regulating industrial sources of air pollution, the agency provides services and information related to asbestos, indoor air quality, outdoor burning, woodstoves and fireplaces. More information about the agency is available at

Contact information

Camille St. Onge
Communications manager