Cause of Huge Wyoming Refinery Spill Happened Before

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A sinking storage tank roof at a Sinclair Oil refinery that caused Wyoming's biggest spill in decades earlier this year wasn't unprecedented: The same thing happened at a similar tank at the refinery in 2007. And leaks in the pontoons holding up the floating roofs occurred before both incidents.

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality learned about the roof that sank on January 20th, 2007, during an inspection that November. Refinery Manager Mike Bellinger says the refinery's tank roofs are inspected regularly, but the refinery lost track of a report showing leakage in the pontoons holding up the roof that sank this year.

The May 3 spill of nearly 3 million gallons of gasoline-grade fluid created a serious explosion risk next to the town of Sinclair.

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