Flint Hills Resources Alaska

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation

A former owner of the North Pole Refinery will appeal a state Superior Court judge’s decision that the company is responsible for most of the liability resulting from groundwater contamination caused by the facility.


Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation

A judge has begun deliberation of a lawsuit filed five years ago by the State of Alaska against a former owner of the North Pole Refinery. The state seeks tens of millions of dollars from Williams Alaska Petroleum for contaminating the area’s groundwater and to help pay for cleanup and expansion of North Pole’s water system.


Work on a $52 million project to expand North Pole’s municipal water system is expected to begin within a few weeks, now the City Council has awarded the contract to a Fairbanks company. The project will extend the system into areas where the groundwater was contaminated by a chemical compound that leaked from the now-shuttered North Pole Refinery more than a decade ago.


The City of North Pole today will begin soliciting contractors interested in working on a big project to expand the municipal water system. The project will more than double the number of customers now served by the city, in an effort to provide drinking water to areas where the groundwater has been contaminated by a chemical compound that for years leaked from the now-closed North Pole Refinery.


Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation

It appears the dispute over how much to clean up contaminated groundwater in the North Pole area will continue into the new year. As KUAC’s Tim Ellis reports, officials with the state’s environmental regulatory agency are still reviewing studies to help them decide on a safe cleanup level for the chemical that leaked from a North Pole refinery into the area’s groundwater.


KUAC file photo

The city of North Pole has filed a lawsuit against the past and present owners of the refinery that leaked the industrial solvent sulfolane into the area’s groundwater.


The North Pole City Council is looking at increased sales taxes. Mayor Bryce Ward has proposed the hikes to cover an anticipated $180,000-plus revenue shortfall. The public turned out in opposition to the tax increases at a City Council meeting Monday night. But the council plans to reconsider a revamped version of the mayor’s proposal next week.


KUAC file photo

North Pole’s mayor says the City Council is considering hiking sales taxes to cover an estimated $180,000 drop in property-tax revenues caused by the shutdown of the Flint Hills Resources refinery. Ward and Fairbanks Mayor John Eberhart heard about other lcommunities' budgets challenges while attending the Alaska Municipal League’s annual local-government conference in Anchorage.


KUAC file photo

State officials have approved a plan proposed by Flint Hills Resources-Alaska to continue an ongoing cleanup of sulfolane and other contaminants that have leaked from its North Pole refinery since the 1970s.The agreement may help improve the chances of Flint Hills eventually selling the refinery, which it closed in May.


KUAC file photo

A panel of experts wrapped up two days of meetings Thursday in Fairbanks that will help the state Department of Environmental Conservation determine the appropriate cleanup level for contamination of North Pole’s groundwater caused by chemicals leaking from the refinery now owned by Flint Hills Resources.


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