Bango reps to discuss emergency planning
Representatives from Bango Oil Refinery will hold an open meeting at the Churchill County Commission chambers on Tuesday at 6 p.m. to discuss their emergency plan.
Churchill County Planning Director Michael Johnson said Bango received in 2010 an amended special use permit for their project in order to increase output of product. This was appealed to the county commissioners, and Johnson said they had 16 conditions that Bango must complete.
Condition No. 11 required Bango Oil to provide a copy of notification and an evacuation plan to Churchill County and to distribute a copy of the plan and training to residents in conjunction with the Emergency Management Coordinator. He said notice of the training would be provided to the commission’s chairman. Johnson said Bango will be fulfilling its requirement to present their emergency action plan to the public.
“The county is not presenting anything, however,” Johnson said, “They are asking the emergency management coordinator, sheriff and fire chief to attend and explain to the public what their roles are under different emergency situations.”
Johnson said Bango has an emergency action plan, which they have given to the fire chief, Churchill County Sheriff’s Office and emergency manager over the years as required.
“This is not a “per se” evacuation plan but how the county would respond to different situations within the county,” Johnson said.
Even with Bango’s recent explosion, Johnson said the oil refinery has always been cooperative with the county. Johnson said part of the 16 conditions deal with trying to figure out different things in order to minimize odor concerns from the residents.
The company running the plant now is a new company, different from the one that received the amended SUP in 2010, and they are committed to being proactive and working to improve the system. He said they have converted the operation to running on natural gas instead of the diesel type fuel mixture that they originally ran the operation on.
They have installed scrubber units to reduce odors from leaving the system. Johnson said they have spent hundreds of thousands, if not millions, on making the plant better.
“They have gone above and beyond what was asked or required of them to become better neighbors,” Johnson said
Johnson said the county was not involved in their established plan, but it addresses what the state requires for plans of this type for the type of operation.