News & Events

Parsons Behle & Latimer Wins Challenge to the Tesoro Salt Lake City Refinery’s Air Permit
November 03, 2016


Parsons Behle & Latimer attorneys successfully represented Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company before the Utah Supreme Court in a challenge to an important air permit for Tesoro’s Salt Lake City refinery.  The Court’s decision came down on October 26, 2016.

Tesoro determined that it needed to modify its Salt Lake City refinery to enable the facility to better process Utah-produced crudes.  A number of environmental groups challenged the air permit that authorized Tesoro to make those changes to the refinery.  The case proceeded first through an administrative hearing before the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.  After Tesoro prevailed in the administrative challenge, the case proceeded to appellate review before the Utah Supreme Court.  

PB&L’s team was comprised of Michael A. Zody, Michael J. Tomko, and Jacob A. Santini.  The team, which was comprised specifically to draw upon PB&L’s expertise in air permitting, litigation, and appeals, worked with Tesoro early in the permitting process to construct an air permit and administrative record that could withstand administrative and judicial challenge.  The team successfully navigated the administrative challenge, which was the first review to reach the merits of a permit under Utah’s new system of administrative review.  The final challenge to the permit was heard by the Utah Supreme Court, which ultimately agreed with PB&L’s arguments and dismissed the appeal.  Michael Zody, Chair of PB&L’s Environmental Litigation Practice Group, argued the case.

The final appeal provides an example of PB&L’s ability to form a team that assists clients from the start of a project to the culmination of all challenges to the project.