Source: The Washington Post
Oil refineries and chemical plants across the Texas Gulf Coast released more than 1 million pounds of dangerous air pollutants in the week after Harvey struck, according to public regulatory filings aggregated by the Center for Biological Diversity.
While attention has zeroed in on the crisis at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Tex., other facilities — oil refineries, chemical plants and shale drilling sites — have been reporting flaring, leaks and chemical discharges triggered by Harvey.
Emissions have already exceeded permitted levels, after floating rooftops sank on oil storage tanks, chemical storage tanks overflowed with rainwater, and broken valves and shutdown procedures triggered flaring at refineries.
The chemicals released in the week after Harvey made landfall, including benzene, 1,3-butadiene, hexane, hydrogen sulfide, sulfur dioxide, toluene and xylene.
All seven chemicals are toxic air pollutants documented to harm human health; several cause cancer. Other emissions would bring the total to more than 5 million pounds, the Center for Biological Diversity said.
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