Wyoming News Update

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Here is the latest Wyoming news from The Associated Press

Refining company pays EPA $655,000 for cleaning up asbestos

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Sinclair Casper Refining Company has paid $655,000 to the Environmental Protection Agency for cleaning up asbestos at an oil refinery in the town of Thermopolis.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports the agency determined there was significant contamination at the site in 2011 and took out around 4,000 cubic yards of material tainted with asbestos.

Asbestos exposure can cause cancer.

The company agreed to the payment in September.

Future landfill closure makes dead animal disposal uncertain

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — An official is spending the winter figuring out what Teton County will do with tons of dead animals each year once a landfill closes due to toxins.

Integrated Solid Waste and Recycling division chief Heather Overholser told the Jackson Hole News and Guide that an incinerator that fits the county's needs could cost as much as $200,000.

She expects the landfill and 3 acres set aside nearby for dead animals will close by spring 2018.

Dead pets, domestic animals and roadkill had gone to the site for free since 1989.

Overholster said a charge of $50 per ton was recently implemented for domestic animals like dogs and cows.

Both the Wyoming Department of Transportation and Wyoming Game and Fish can drop of animal carcasses for free.

Wyoming engulfed by winter storm, bitter cold

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A winter storm engulfing Wyoming is dropping heavy snow throughout the state and ushering in bitter cold temperatures.

Much of the state is under a winter storm warning and the remainder is under a winter weather advisory.

The Wyoming Transportation Department reported snowfall and slick roads generally everywhere north of Interstate 80 Friday afternoon.

A foot of snow fell in Wilson and Bondurant in western Wyoming, and more than 2 feet came down in surrounding mountain ranges.

Casper is expecting up to 8 inches, and Cody around a foot.

Bitter cold air is flowing into the state, and the National Weather Service warns of temperatures plummeting to around 20 below zero with wind chills of up to 50 degrees below zero Friday night.

No injuries when avalanche sweeps across Wyoming highway

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — An avalanche suspected of being caused by a skier swept across a mountain pass in northwest Wyoming and came close to pushing one vehicle over a steep slope.

No one was hurt when the avalanche occurred about 4:50 p.m. Thursday along Wyoming 22 between Jackson and the Idaho state line.

Sgt. Matt Carr of the Teton County Sheriff's Office tells the Jackson Hole News & Guide that about 100 yards of the highway at Teton Pass was buried in up to 20 feet of snow.

Authorities didn't release the name of the man whose vehicle was knocked on its side by the avalanche and came to rest on the edge of a precipice.

The pass was closed most of the night but was reopened Friday morning.

Wyoming Range drilling question nears end

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — A move to prevent oil and gas drilling on about 40,000 acres of Bridger-Teton National Forest land in western Wyoming is nearing final approval.

A U.S. Forest Service decision Friday to deny drilling in the Wyoming Range area is awaiting final approval by officials in Washington, D.C.

Oil and gas leases in the forest were first offered for sale in 2005.

Criticism from conservation groups and others prompted Congress to ban drilling on 1.2 million acres of federal land in the forest in 2009. However, the 40,000 acres in the Wyoming Range remained open to development and a separate process was initiated on whether to permit drilling in that area.