Tense hearing on Anacortes oil refinery permit

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MOUNT VERNON — Demonstrators concerned about oil trains protested outside a public hearing on an air quality permit for the Shell refinery at Anacortes.

The Skagit Valley Herald reports it was a tense hearing Wednesday at the county administration building in Mount Vernon with some people shouting their testimony.

The Northwest Clean Air Agency said the air permits in question are separate from permits for train off-loading facilities at the refinery. But the agency will consider the comments as it studies changes to a five-year permit.

Executive Director Mark Asmundson said the refinery has reduced emissions by 70 percent since 2001. Several people accused the agency of protecting Shell.