Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Air We Breathe

Dear Friends,

Despite my political viewpoint that our government was created to provide for the common defense and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,and very little else, and I generally despise government regulation, I feel strongly that this issue is very important so I have written the following a couple of the individuals working on this refinery expansion approval. It's a long letter. Sorry.


Dear Mr. Bird,

My name is Lorinda LeFevre. I have lived in Bountiful for 19 years. We live just North East of the Holly Refinery. We live in a neighborhood where of the 12 or so homes I think at least 7 of the occupants have died of blood cancers. My first husband died due to complications of leukemia (AML). It was a very aggressive cancer and he lived nine months after diagnosis, despite the most potent chemotherapy his medical staff had ever used to treat his particular condition, a lifetime maximum of total body irradiation and a bone marrow transplant from his brother who was a perfect match. I was left with 2 young sons. I was 26.

I’m sure you can imagine how difficult that was and I was grateful to find the man that I am now married to because he loves my sons as if they were his own. In addition, we have had 3 daughters and another son. We still live in the same home and about 6 years ago, my new husband was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He also underwent chemotherapy and radiation. His treatment was successful and he is now cancer-free (yay!). He was raised very near what I am calling my “neighborhood.”

I am becoming increasingly alarmed at our air quality. Because of the way the air gets trapped in our little valley, we cannot afford to have the pollution that we have, and we certainly cannot endorse any increase in output of emissions from the local refineries. I am concerned that you are obviously unaware of the danger that this reckless attitude is perpetuating. The State Implementation Plan that is being prepared to be submitted to the EPA is woefully inadequate in terms of beginning to remedy our situation.

Here are my main concerns:

1. The imminent expansion of the Tesoro refinery and the additional emissions related to the oil refining process as well as the additional fuel emissions that will be caused by drastically increasing the heavy truck traffic that already exists there.

2. We need to insist that all of the refineries’ emissions be measured and monitored in a more reliable way. And I am certain, given the many intelligent, highly paid oil company executives, that they can develop much better technology that would decrease dangerous pollution released into the air that we and our children and our parents breathe every day. If I understand correctly, more effective filtering of particulate matter will create additional waste product that will need to be disposed of at the expense of the oil companies, but I ask you: is our health worth it?

3. I would love to see mass transit become more used in our community. The way that I see this happening is to lower the cost. Make it more affordable than driving. The more people use mass transit, the more lucrative it will become. Whenever I am on the freeway at rush hour, I am appalled at the number of people who are alone in their cars.

I’m sure when the “Pollutions” arrived in this valley, they were not aware of the problem that their activities would cause to the inhabitants of this location and because of our unique geography we are seeing and suffering from the results of their irresponsible behavior. We need to stop trading our health for money. We need to raise our standards and insist that the oil refineries conform to them. If they become uncomfortable, or if it becomes too expensive to do business here, perhaps they will find a location with a more suitable landscape and we can develop that land to be used by other lucrative businesses. It is time to stand up and take control of this situation. You are in a position to help. Please take your responsibility seriously.

Thank you for your time.


Lorinda Hopper Beadle LeFevre

If you have a moment and the inclination to write a letter indicating your concern about our air quality (On Halloween, because I believe the SIP will be submitted on November 1, 2012) to your state representatives, senators or to these individuals, please take the time to do so. Thanks.

Their names, titles and email addresses:

Mark Berger, Administrative Office of Rules,


Bryce Bird, director, Division of Air Quality