Old Lovell Refinery Groundwater

The Old Lovell Refinery (Site), as it was surveyed in 1995, encompasses approximately 104 acres in Big Horn County.  Several parcels, which are currently owned by Big Horn County and private entities, comprise the former refinery that is located approximately 1.75 miles west-northwest of the town of Lovell, Wyoming.  The legal description is Section 8 (Lot 5) and Section 9 (Resurvey Lot 8, Resurvey Lot 83, and Resurvey Tract 122) in Township 56N and Range 96W.  

Petroleum refining operations began at the Site in 1937.  The refinery continued to operate through 1960, at which time most of the equipment and buildings were dismantled.  From approximately 1978 through the late 1980’s, the Site served as a facility for processing waste crude oil.  Five unlined crude and waste oil lagoons were used to recover and process crude oil.  Four of the lagoons were remediated in 1995, and the fifth lagoon (south of Sage Creek) was filled in with native soil in 2009.  Abovegound and below ground tank batteries were removed in 1995.  Remnants of the former refinery (including brick, concrete, subsurface piping, and buried drums) exist at the Site today.  

Natural waters of the state have been impacted by petroleum hydrocarbon contamination as a result of historical refinery operations at the Site.  Impacted groundwater at the Site was evaluated as a high priority for the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality/Orphan Site Remediation Program (WDEQ/OSRP).  In 2017, state funds that were allocated to the WDEQ/OSRP were set aside for a groundwater investigation and interim cleanup remedies at the Site with the goal of reducing impacts to surface water and protecting nearby Lovell citizens and residents of Big Horn County from exposure to contamination.

WDEQ/OSRP Project Manager:
Jules Feck
(307) 335-6976

Site Documentation Summaries:

  • 1995 EPA CERCLA Initial Pollution Report:  Documented removal actions including asbestos containing materials, PCBs, and other hazardous wastes.
  • 1996 Analytical Results:  Collected and analyzed samples during the removal action that included excavation/removal of six unlined ponds, underground tanks, and other oil disposal areas.
  • 1996 EPA Pollution Report #6:  Disposed of asbestos containing materials and landfarmed 50,000 cubic yards of contaminated soils.
  • 1998 EPA Emergency Response Team Report:  Implemented landfarming and pilot test for phytoremediation.
  • 1999 EPA Landfarm/Phytoremediation Evaluation
  • 1999 EPA Final Pollution Report #9:  Description of residual risks at the Site.
  • 2009 Phase I Environmental Site Assessment and Phase II Field Sampling Plan:  Documented recognized environmental conditions at the Site and identifed site characterization data gaps.
  • 2010 Phase II Analytical Results:  Presented data from a soil, groundwater, and surface water sampling effort.
  • 2012 Supplemental Field Sampling Plan:  Additional site characterization included collecting groundwater, surface water, sediment, and subsurface soil samples for analysis.
  • 2012 Phase I ESA:  Investigated water pathways at the Old Lovell Refinery and conduct a Phase I ESA at the Big Horn Basin Pipe & Supply parcel.
  • 2013 Supplemental Phase II Analytical Results:  Delineated contamination in subsurface soils and first underlying aquifer.   
  • 2017 Investigation Work Plan:  Documented remaining asbestos containing materials at the Site and proposed activities to support the design/implementation of interim remedial measure(s) at the Site.


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