Pine Bend works hard to minimize emissions

A recent letter by Peter Suechting of Minneapolis (“Keep pressure on officials to reduce Mississippi River pollution”) misrepresents an annual report of allowable emissions from U.S. manufacturing facilities, and for some reason singles out Rosemount’s Flint Hills Resources Pine Bend refinery.

Pine Bend is among the cleanest refineries operating in the United States. Each day, the refinery’s wastewater treatment plant successfully processes more than 3.5 million gallons of water, typically discharging at levels well below permitted limits and with no exceedances. In 2014, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency honored Pine Bend as an outstanding wastewater treatment operator.

The refinery has also reduced its air emissions by more than 60 percent over the past 15 years.

The employees at Pine Bend deserve the credit. They work hard every day to minimize the emissions associated with manufacturing the transportation fuels and other products that Minnesotans rely on.

This commitment to the environment extends well beyond the refinery’s fence line. Since 2000, Pine Bend has partnered with Friends of the Mississippi River to restore more than 1,000 acres of natural prairie that serves a migratory flyway for 40 percent of North America’s waterfowl and shorebirds; a 30-year partnership with Ducks Unlimited has led to the restoration of numerous lakes and marshes and the permanent protection of miles of sensitive shoreline; and a nearly 15 year-long collaboration with Environmental Initiative has meant cleaner air for all Minnesotans.

Most who work in industry value clean air and clean water, and we all want to protect the environment for future generations. That’s certainly the case for those who work at Pine Bend. 

Jake Reint is the director of public affairs for Flint Hills Resources.

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by LK WOODRUFF on 11/13/2015 - 07:05 pm.

    Koch & its PR machine

    Mr. Reint’s comments are a perfect example of the Koch ‘spin’ machine.

    Here are more facts from real life:

    Koch properties change names periodically to make it harder for folks to research the co’s full history, which is sketchy at best. They also employ huge PR companies to produce beautiful, glossy brochures that glowingly speak of all of the good they do. (Well, in their minds anyway.)
    What they mostly do is work overtime ensuring that NOTHING negative ever appears in print. They are very good that their jobs. And of course this heavily influences the publics’ opinion.

    Locally, Flint Hills/Pine Bend was piling up a LOT of expensive fines (million$) & the EPA & others were legally forcing them to clean up their act! These ‘partnerships’ are often part of legal deals. In one recent case, 2 local lawyers sued to ‘force’ them to pay it back to the locals in the way of public spaces (for either people &/or wildlife). It’s called remediation.

    One local authority said to me a few years ago: “But they gave $$ to the local clinic!” To which I replied, “Yes, and they are ‘giving’ asthma to our children! Our kids asthma rates have about doubled over the past 20 years.” That’s a ‘gift’ that lasts a lifetime:(

    Pine Bend may be working harder now to do better. They also make huge profits. They pay well—far more than many folks make locally—and always have. Some employees get housing, too. It has to be lucrative to draw employees. (I will add that there isn’t enough $ in the world to hire me. I can’t even drive by their plant without having to drive the max speed limit & cover my mouth & NOT BREATHE the entire time. So you’ll understand why it doesn’t seem ‘safe’ to me yet.)

    ‘Spin’–or let’s call it what it is: carefully worded lies–abounds these days, in many areas. One has to dig very deep to learn the facts.

    Here are more salient & useful details to know:

    Actions speak louder than words and Koch doesn’t give a tinker’s damn about the environment. They ‘bend the rules’ every chance they get, in every way they can think of.
    Legally and otherwise.

    Look at the TransCanada recent move to ‘postpone’ the Keystone Pipeline decision, asking for a delay so Pres Obama wouldn’t make it but whomever is the next Pres is would. We ALL saw thru that, and thankfully Pres Obama finally made his decision—after 7 YEARS of study & reports—and denied it.

    What most folks don’t realize yet is that the Koch Bros ~at least partially~ OWN TransCanada now. (The precise % is difficult to determine/know.) The fossil fuel industry knows the writing is on the wall and life/profits as they have known them are coming to an end.

    So the company can say what it will. It is like a politician. But the public needs to remain vigilant and do their research & homework, in order to separate truth from spin.

  2. Submitted by rolf westgard on 11/17/2015 - 06:30 pm.


    the Pine Bend refinery is an efficient well run facility that processes daily over 300,000 barrels of Canadian heavy crude oil to provide the gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, lubricating oils and other products essential for the operation of Minnesota’s economy and that of neighboring states. It operates well within the environmental standards set by the State of Minnesota. We could give up oil and go back to living in caves, but most of us are pleased to benefit by the products produced at Pine Bend. The above letter is long on adjectives and short on specifics.

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