Skagit County area residents voice concerns over expansion of facilities at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, which is planning a major upgrade. An environmental-impact statement suggests little impact.

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ANACORTES — Area residents and environmental groups have raised concerns about the Tesoro Anacortes Refinery’s proposed clean-products upgrade project.

They worry the project will add to greenhouse-gas emissions that contribute to climate change, increase vessel traffic and increase the risk of chemical spills.

The refinery’s proposed project would involve upgrading existing equipment and building new equipment, in part to reduce sulfur emissions from its fuel products and to reduce emissions while transferring fuel products to vessels at its dock.

The project would also enable the refinery to extract 15,000 barrels of xylene per day and ship it overseas.

Xylene is a chemical compound created during the oil-refining process and is used in the manufacturing of plastics and polyester materials.

Skagit County released March 23 a draft environmental-impact statement, or EIS, detailing the potential impacts of the project and what could be done to mitigate those impacts.

The document suggests the project would have no significant environmental impacts requiring mitigation beyond existing laws and procedures.

However, many who spoke at an April 17 public hearing for the draft EIS said they don’t feel the draft EIS adequately addresses potential environmental impacts.