US environmental groups seek probe of Citgo refinery leak

28 August 2009 22:44  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Environmental groups Sierra Club and Citizens for Environmental Justice sent a letter to the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) on Friday requesting it to further investigate a refinery fire at Citgo’s Corpus Christi refinery in Texas that led to the release of nearly 4,000 pounds (1.8 tonnes) of hydrogen fluoride.

The fire occurred 19-20 July in the 163,000 bbl/day refinery’s alkylation unit, and resulted in the largest hydrogen fluoride leak at the plant since 1988, the groups said.

One worker was hospitalised following the incident.

The groups also alleged serious public health concerns over Citgo’s failure to notify and evacuate the nearby community, claiming citizens had to rely solely on the media to learn the dangers of the fire.

“Citgo compounded the threat of toxic vapors of hydrogen fluoride from the fire by failing to inform residents of an option to evacuate, since they could be in danger if the winds shifted,” said Neil Carman, a director with Sierra Club.

The CSB sent an investigative team to the site after the fire to assess the immediate situation.

Citgo and CSB representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

ICIS Free Trials Sign Up


By: Ben DuBose
+1 713 525 2653



AddThis Social Bookmark Button

For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.

Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.

Printer Friendly

ICIS news FREE TRIAL
Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index