A new report shows polluting accidents at Louisiana oil refineries or related chemical plants occurred almost every day last year. Even worse is that the actual number of incidents is probably higher.
Based on what workers tell them, one nonprofit group that assisted in the report says many accidents are covered up. Others are outrageously underreported as in one case where Exxon Mobil reported a 31,000-pound release of benzene as only 10 pounds of air pollution.
While most of the accidents are caused by weather and power outages, reports say nearly a third are due to operational or equipment failures.
With only one company so far (Marathon) admitting to the problem, Louisiana’s Bucket Brigade, which is aiming for zero emissions, is encouraging insiders to report what they see.
It’s not enough that the EPA endorses the Bucket Brigade, the state’s EPA must demand stronger safety regulations for Louisiana’s oil refineries and enforce ones already in effect.
Tell Louisiana that stronger measures are needed to reduce oil refinery accidents.
We, the undersigned, support the demand for stronger safety regulation of Louisiana’s oil refineries.
The concern over the high number of accidents is far exceeded by that regarding the serious misrepresentation of what is really happening at these plants and the amount of dangerous polluting chemicals being released into the atmosphere. The reported amounts alone far exceed what could possibly be construed as acceptable - 2.4 million pounds of air pollutants that include benzene and sulfur dioxide and over12 million gallons of water pollution.
These companies must be held accountable not only for the unnecessary pollution they create but for the accuracy of their accident reports.
All highly profitable, these companies can afford to implement stricter safety measures, and a federal rule requires that they comply with the Clean Air Act
We insist these companies do whatever is necessary to reduce these hazards to our environment and ask regulators to demand stronger safety regulations for these oil refineries.
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