29 Apr '11, 6pm

News: Power Failures at Three Texas Refineries Spew Chemicals in the Air

Near Houston on Tuesday three large oil refineries and a chemical plant spewed toxic gases into surrounding neighborhoods when a power failure shut down process and control equipment. Local officials canceled school and warned residents to stay indoors. Emergency officials were not sure how much excess pollution the plants or what toxic chemicals were in the pollution released. Had the refineries installed backup power supplies they could have prevented the pollution event. Because of a loophole in pollution control regulations, however, refineries and many other industries have little incentive to take such precautions. A loophole in federal air toxics limits allows refineries and other plants to emit unlimited amounts of pollution without any consequence if they do so during a “malfunction.” The shutdown of process and control equipment that takes place during a power ou...

Full article: http://earthjustice.org/news/press/2011/power-failures-at...

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