Hurricane Harvey Damages Refineries in Texas

Washington Post – Hurricane Harvey damaged two ExxonMobil refineries, causing the release of hazardous pollutants. ExxonMobil acknowledged the damages in a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The company said in the filings that a floating roof covering a tank at the Baytown oil refinery sank in heavy rains, dipping below the surface of oil or other material stored there causing unusually high emissions of volatile organic compounds. The Baytown refinery is the second largest in the country. At the company’s Beaumont petrochemical refinery, Harvey damaged a sulfur thermal oxidizer, a piece of equipment that captures and burns sulfur dioxide.

“The unit was stabilized. No impact to the community has been reported,” the company
said in its filing. “Actions were taken to minimize emissions and to restore the refinery to normal operations.”

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