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Tesoro's Anacortes refinery fined for federal violations

caption: The Tesoro refinery in Anacortes
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The Tesoro refinery in Anacortes
Flickr Photo/Scott Butner (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/

The Tesoro oil refinery in Anacortes, Washington, is getting hit with more fines.

This time, the Environmental Protection Agency wants the refinery to pay about $720,000 for safety violations.

It's the same refinery where seven workers died in 2010.

This complaint and fine was a long time coming, according to the EPA's regional office. The violations were spotted during an inspection five years ago.

The federal government requires strict accident prevention plans for workplaces that handle chemicals. According to the EPA, those plans were not clear at the refinery. In some cases, it wasn't clear who would be in charge during an emergency.

The EPA says the violations didn't result in any injuries, but that prevention is critical at oil and gas refineries.

Fines like the one proposed are often appealed and reduced before a company pays them. Tesoro is in its fifth year of appealing a $2.4 million fine from the state related to the blast that killed those seven workers.

That explosion happened before the inspection that led to the new fines.

A Tesoro spokesperson says: "We have fully cooperated with EPA’s inspections, including producing documents, making employees available for interviews and providing EPA with workspace. We believe the EPA’s claims are wrong on the facts and the law, and we look forward to continuing our discussions with EPA in defense of the allegations."

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