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Along with a refinery operated by Valero Energy Corporation, BP’s Texas City, Texas, refining operation has once again polluted the air of local residents, this time with a discharge of 150,000 pounds of pollutants.
The releases by Valero and BP were caused by power troubles that forced the companies to shut down their operations. Texas City officials said the emissions did not reach harmful levels, although residents were warned to stay indoors following the industrial events. Some residents reported experiencing health effects, and at least 25 people went to the hospital.
Initially, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) reported the level of chemical emissions maxed out the monitoring equipment at one point. They later announced that their testing device had malfunctioned and the readings were invalid. The possibility that the TCEQ is not capable of properly monitoring toxic emissions came at an awkward time for local politicians, who are trying to fend off the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as it considers stricter rules for emissions monitoring.
Update, 4/29: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality now tells us that it conferred with the manufacturer of its monitoring equipment and believes its data on high levels of contaminants were inaccurate. “Our hand-held monitor indicated the presence of air contaminants in excess of the equipments detection limits. These readings have been determined to be invalid,” agency spokeswoman Andrew Morrow told me. Morrow said the agency still believes that the order for residents to stay inside was appropriate.
Originally posted by lokdog
I just finished reading skywatcher2011's thread about a polluting plant in India that the protesters set 7 people on fire. Maybe we need to import a little Indian street justice to this country. After a BP managment barbeque crap like this would stop.