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Refinery owner loses water cleanup legal challenge

By Associated Press 5:44 PM July 19, 2014
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) –

A North Pole refinery owner has lost its latest challenge in a long-running attempt to get a petroleum company to pay for groundwater contamination that contributed to the refinery’s closure.

Flint Hills Resources Alaska cannot pursue damages against the former owner of its North Pole refinery, Williams Alaska Petroleum, a Superior Court judge has ruled.

In November 2013, Judge Michael P. McConahy determined that the statute of limitations had expired by the time Flint Hills had filed its lawsuit. He made the same ruling this month.

The company wants to pursue damages against Williams for spilling the industrial chemical sulfolane at the site before Flint Hills purchased the refinery in 2004.

Sulfolane has been detected in a 3-mile long groundwater plume near the refinery.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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