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“It is possible these other events were triggered by similar conditions, but we cannot speak to their causes since it didn’t occur on our equipment,” Garber said.
TEXAS CITY, Texas – A state agency said air quality monitor readings in Texas City were too high for their instruments to measure around 8 a.m. Tuesday.
"Maximum readings taken by TCEQ staff were in excess of the instruments measurement capability (greater than 999 ppm VOC), therefore we cannot quantify the readings during the shelter in place period," they said in a written statement late Tuesday.
By Tuesday evening, only Valero's data showed up on a TCEQ database, reporting release of an estimated 43,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide from emergency and startup flaring. Sulfur dioxide can react with other compounds to form ultrafine particles, which are associated with heart and lung disease.
Texas-New Mexico Power employees were busy cleaning "contaminated insulators" which are equipment that are covered in salt and dirt and run the risk of knocking power out. Those lines are suspected of causing a widespread power outage in Texas City that forced most of the community's refineries and chemical plants to shut down units.
Inhaling sulfur dioxide is associated with increased respiratory symptoms and disease, difficulty in breathing, and premature death.
In the United States, the Center for Science in the Public Interest lists the two food preservatives, sulfur dioxide and sodium bisulfate, as being safe for human consumption except for certain individuals who may be sensitive to it, especially in large amounts
Sulfur dioxide is a major air pollutant and has significant impacts upon human health. In addition the concentration of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere can influence the habitat suitability for plant communities as well as animal life. Sulfur dioxide emissions are a precursor to acid rain and atmospheric particulates.
NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- BP PLC (BP, BP.LN) said Wednesday that the restart of its oil refinery in Texas City, Texas, has not gotten under way because reliable power supply is not yet available. The entire plant was taken off line late Monday into Tuesday following overnight power outages.
BP's Texas City on-site co-generation facility is operational, and could produce more than enough power to run the massive 475,000 barrels-a-day Texas City refinery, but the company will not resume production until a redundant, stable and reliable supply of power is available from TNMP, BP spokesman Scott Dean said.
By T.J. Aulds
The Daily News Published April 28, 2011
Power outages continued to vex petrochemical facilities Wednesday, a day the city’s main oil refineries and chemical plants all lost power.
Texas-New Mexico Power is the primary electrical provider for Texas City. After at first blaming the internal electrical equipment at the chemical plants and refineries for Monday’s outages, company officials eventually acknowledged problems that are contributing to the outages.
Texas City Mayor Matt Doyle accused Texas-New Mexico Power of being lax in its maintenance and called for an investigation into the company’s maintenance operations.
On Wednesday, state Rep. Craig Eiland, D-Galveston, whose district includes Texas City, sent a letter to Pauline Moore, the regional manager for Texas-New Mexico, and spoke with the Public Utility Commission.
In it, he demanded answers to what the company was doing to prevent future outages.
“The problem could have been avoided by simply power washing the lines to ensure that there was no build up of salt,” Eiland wrote in his letter. “The loss of power is capable of causing serious harm to workers, the environment and a significant risk of fire to homes.”
BP’s also is delaying the restart of units at its 475,000 barrel per day Texas City refinery because of unreliable electrical power. While its on-site Houston Green Power co-generation plant could supply all the electricity the refinery needs, the company won’t restart until power delivery from Texas-New Mexico is stable, Marr said.
4.1 2011/04/28 04:58:35 30.704 -105.762 10.0 66 km ( 41 mi) S of Fort Hancock, TX
4.3 2011/04/28 01:03:42 30.775 -105.729 10.2 58 km ( 36 mi) SW of Sierra Blanca, TX
TEXAS CITY — More than 89,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide and about 1,000 pounds of benzene were estimated to have been released by two refineries during a 24 hour period following a massive power outage that led to excessive flaring at Texas City’s major industrial complexes Monday night and Tuesday morning.
Sulfur dioxide is known to react with other compounds to form particles associated with heart and lung disease.
Those figures, found in the initial reports to the state’s environmental regulatory agency fromgalvestondailynews.com... BP and Valero, are expected to go higher as company officials compile detailed data of the emissions.
“We expect the numbers to be much different when we file our final report,” Valero spokesman Fred Newhouse said.
For example, Valero’s report covers only its flaring incident from 4:30 a.m. to 7:40 a.m. A secondary filing goes from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., but that was an estimate of how much would be released during what company officials thought would be a quick restart.
State environmental investigators, however, reported the air monitors were unable to accurately measure what was being released into the air and in what quantities because the readings for volatile organic compounds were so high.