Calumet planning maintenance, drills beginning April 5

Calumet Montana Refining, LLC will undergo planned unit shutdown and maintenance activities beginning April 5.

The planned activities are expected to last approximately three weeks, according to Calumet, and the shutdown and startup activities will cause periods of flaring.

Plantwide evacuation test drill exercises are scheduled for noon and 7:30 p.m. April 12.

Community members may hear the whistle used in this drill, which is a single blast lasting 20 seconds.

“There is no reason to be alarmed; this is only a drill exercise and there is no emergency,” according to a Calumet release.

There will be increased traffic on Smelter Avenue near the former Westgate Mall property as contractors perform work at the facility around the clock. This traffic will be especially noticeable around 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., according to the release.

“Safety is the top priority for Calumet and drills are designed and practiced to maintain the safest possible operations. Calumet regularly practices response drills with partner agencies to prepare for spills, fires, severe weather events and other challenges that may impact plant operations,” according to the Calumet release.