Refinery Releases Hazardous Chemicals into Houston Air Following Hurricane Harvey

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Tragically, at least 30 people have been killed in Texas as a result of Hurricane Harvey, and more fatalities are expected in the coming weeks. Harvey has been an epic storm that has severely flooded the Houston area. However, floods are not the only concern for those in Houston.

Many have complained about terrible smells in various parts of Houston. ExxonMobil recently acknowledged that Hurricane Harvey has damaged two of its refineries, releasing hazardous chemicals into the air. One accident happened at Exxon’s petrochemical refinery in Beaumont. Over 1,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide was released, which is not allowed under the company’s operating permits. According to Exxon, the unit has been repaired.

At the Baytown oil refinery, a roof that normally covered a tank detached and sank beneath the oil, which resulted in emissions of “volatile organic compounds”. To make a repair, Exxon has to empty the tanks, which cannot happen until the weather improves. In addition, about 15 pounds of benzene and other chemicals were released into the air at Baytown, which happened as a result of preparing for the storm.

Finally, there was a chemical leak from a pipeline that ruptured in La Porte, Texas. Local authorities issued a warning that was later lifted, urging residents to stay indoors. Louisiana is now experiencing Harvey as a tropical storm, which could cause flash floods. Louisiana has about 1.65 million barrels a day of oil refining capacity. Officials are closely monitoring the facilities for any problems.

The effects of Hurricane Harvey will probably not be completely understood for some time. If you have suffered any medical issues due to Hurricane Harvey that were also caused by the negligence of another party, you should consider speaking with a personal injury attorney. The Houston personal injury attorneys at Kennedy Hodges may be able to help. Call today at 855-947-0707. We can help. Call today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation on your case. You can also learn more about the firm on Twitter.

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