OSHA reviewing Wibaux oil facility explosionThe investigation into what caused an explosion at a eastern Montana oil recycling facility late last year won’t be complete until June, according to an OSHA official.
By: Bryan Horwath, The Dickinson Press
The investigation into what caused an explosion at a eastern Montana oil recycling facility late last year won’t be complete until June, according to an OSHA official.
The blast on Dec. 29 set off a fire that burned for about a week at a Custom Carbon Processing oil treatment site just outside Wibaux, Mont., near the Montana-North Dakota border.
“We’re actively working the case,” Billings-area OSHA director Jeff Funke said Thursday. “Our statute of limitations to investigate is six months. More than likely, we’re looking at June before I will be able to issue my findings in this case.”
The fire destroyed a structure and the tanker of a semi. Three CCP employees were injured during the blast, but have since been treated and released, Funke said. Calls to Green Oasis Environmental Inc., the parent company of CCP, by The Press were not immediately returned Thursday.
“Basically, this incident happened during an oil recovery process, which is when they take slop oil and make it into pipeline grade oil,” Funke said. “They were at a salt water disposal well. I know that they are not rebuilding on the site.”
Funke said the Environmental Protection Agency and the Montana Department of Transportation are also involved in investigating the incident. A Wibaux County spokesperson said after the blast that it happened while the tanker truck’s operator was pumping the trailer’s contents into the structure that was eventually demolished.
“We have ideas of what cause this, but those won’t be released until the report comes out,” Funke said. “We don’t release anything publicly or to the press without the company first learning of the results of the investigation.”
GOE lists its home address as being in Canada while CCP is headquartered in Gillette, Wyo.