Update, May 12 2021

We are still persevering to keep Provo City from approving additional oil and gasoline storage at Christensen Oil. And to encourage Provo Fire and Rescue to enforce applicable fire code at Christensen Oil.

A few updates:

1) We presented at the Maeser Neighborhood Meeting on Wednesday, April 21. The presentation and discussion are about 45 minutes long, and can be seen on Facebook at

Rachel Favero discussed the problems of risk, and how the Christensen site is much more crowded than similar sites on the Wasatch Front.

Ted Buehler discussed the history of exemptions and violations at Christensen Oil, and how that has led to the continued crowding of materials stored there.

Lynne Dixon discussed the American Petroleum Institute’s internal voluntary auditing system, and how Provo City can request that Christensen hire an API certified consultant to assess the storage and transfer or petroleum products at Christensen.

2) We observed a gasoline tanker trailer being loaded at Christensen on May 6, 2021 without using vapor recovery. This means that there is a plume of gasoline vapor being released to the atmosphere as the tanker truck is being filled. They are supposed to use a second hose when transferring gasoline, so that as liquid moves from one tank to the other, the same amount of vapor moves back into the tank being emptied.

This is a fire risk, as a static spark in the plume of gasoline vapor could cause an explosion.

We filed a complaint with Provo Fire and Rescue and with the Utah DEQ. We have not heard back yet whether this was indeed a fuel loading event without vapor recovery, and what might be done to ensure Christensen drivers use vapor recovery in the future.

3. Gates left open at Christensen Oil, yard apparently unattended.

On Friday, May 7, we observed that the gates were open at Christensen Oil, and the yard appeared to be unattended, at 5:30 am. In the past, Christensen would routinely leave their gates open and yard unattended in the evening, but thanks to some encouragement from Provo Fire Marshal Lynn Schofield, Christensen is now better about keeping gates locked in the evening.

The risk is that a vandal, arsonist, or terrorist could enter the yard, release or break the valves on the gasoline tanker trucks, and start a fire that would be difficult to control.

Photo from 5:40 am, Friday May 7th.

4. Next steps.

The “Memorandum of Understanding” (AKA Development Agreement) still sits on Mayor Michelle Kaufusi’s desk.

We have a letter-writing campaign asking people to share their concerns with her.

We ask that you request that she apply all ten concerns of Maeser Neighbors for Safety to the proposed Memorandum of Understanding.

Our top concerns are
1) No expansion of oil storage at Christensen Oil. If they need to store more oil products, they can open a satellite location.
2) All existing structures be brought up to code regarding current occupancy — the North Warehouse was not designed for oil storage, and should not be used to store oil!
3) The Fire Code only offers limited “Grandfathering” of operations and structures build under previous editions of the Fire Code. Please ensure that all operations are governed by the current Fire Code.
4) Have a professional inspection by an API 653 certified inspector.
and 6 more.

Contact Mayor Kaufusi at
Mayor Kaufusi
351 W Center St
Provo UT 84601


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