JUNEAU -

The mood is a little more upbeat in the Capitol office of State Rep. Doug Isaacson (R-North Pole) now than it was on Feb. 4 -- when the Flint Hills refinery said it was closing operations and releasing 80 employees.

On Friday Isaacson, a GOP freshman, said two potential buyers expressed interest in buying the facility, but he was only able to reveal one of them.

"It wouldn't be outrageous to guess that it might be the refinery located next to Flint Hills,” Isaacson said.

In a Facebook message, Gov. Sean Parnell said he would be willing to absolve a buyer of any environmental liability associated with a sulfolane spill that has contaminated a three-mile zone around the refinery.

"Flint Hills would remain responsible for ensuring that people who would otherwise have access to clean drinking water underneath their property, but don't have that access right now, are provided with an alternative source,” said DEC Deputy Commissioner Lyn Kent.

That source is being provided by Flint Hills, which also built two new wells for the city of North Pole. There’s no clear end in sight to the company’s cleanup efforts, however.

"What kind of permanent solution should there be, and what kind of development should be allowed in the meantime?” Isaacson asked. “I maintain that the area is a healthy area and people are equipped with a good water solution.”

Isaacson is hopeful a new tenant will move in before May, when refinery operations shut down and some of the machinery could be sold.