(EnviroNews Utah via Community Watch Blog) – Well, Big West Oil Refinery in North Salt Lake is at it again. What’s that you ask? Only pumping off large flares with accompanying funky black smoke.
This episode was sent into EnviroNews Utah by two local citizen journalists who saw the flare in action on Thursday, March 7th, at around 11:30 AM. After observing “larger than usual fire” atop a smoke stack on the North side of the North Salt Lake Big West plant, the citizens decided to take out their iPhones and start filming the event.
While standing on public property and filming for less than 5 minutes, the two were inturrputed by a truck from Big West Oil who began an interrogation wanting to know what they were filming and why. According to the two citizens, their reply was something to the effect of “standing on public property practicing free speach media”. It should be noted, that the flare was reportedly shut down less than ten minutes after the encounter.
This is a story that we hear over and over again here at EnviroNews Utah. In otherwords, if you see a larer than “normal” flare atop a refinery smoke stack and you point an iPhone or a camera at it from public property, be prepared to be encountered by angry plant workers, rent-a-cops, or hostile security forces. Why are they so concerned if they aren’t doing anything wrong? Oh yeah, we nearly forgot that between the 5 petroleum refining operations on “refinery row”, a violation is cited and issued, on average once every 9 days according to a recent investigative report published in the Salt Lake Tribune. Hmmmm…perhaps that is why they don’t want anyone looking?