Vancouver worst dating city
A few companies, under pressure from advocacy groups and regulators, have switched to a modified form of the acid, which still poses significant risks to workers and communities but is less likely to travel as far.No refinery owner has embraced a product known as solid acid catalyst, which union officials and chemical safety experts say is far safer than HF.
Still, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year “showed us that worst-case releases actually do happen.”Refiners use HF as a catalyst to make high-octane gasoline.
So closely guarded are details of the risks that even when HF leaves a refinery, its neighbors aren’t always aware of the peril. After the 2009 release in Corpus Christi, Citgo told state regulators that only 30 pounds of the acid escaped plant boundaries. And when the safety board sought to make public a Citgo video of the fire, the company resisted, arguing that it would “raise substantial issues of national security.” With the Department of Homeland Security’s blessing, the board eventually posted the video on its website, along with a report listing a series of failures that could have proven disastrous.
When warning sirens sound at refineries, neighbors worry.
“There hasn’t been any HF release that has impacted the communities,” said Charles Drevna, president of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association.
“We’ve controlled them.”The industry should take the threat more seriously, said Paul Orum, a chemical safety consultant who works with public-interest groups.“Fifty million dollars is pretty cheap insurance,” he said. Refinery mishaps, even when they don’t involve HF, can be costly.