10 U.S. Oil Refineries Released Carcinogenic Benzene Above EPA Limits in 2019
Feb 07, 2020 4 mins, 26 secs
Emissions of the cancer-causing chemical benzene exceeded federal limits at 10 oil refineries across the U.S. last year, a new report from the Environmental Integrity Project has found. The Environmental Integrity Project reviewed data for 114 refineries across the country. Of the 10 that exceeded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) action levels, six were in Texas, while the remaining four were located in Pennsylvania, Louisiana, New Mexico and Mississippi, Reuters reported. The report analyzed a year's worth of data reported to the EPA following a rule that took effect in 2018 requiring continuous air pollution monitoring at the facilities' perimeters in order to protect nearby communities, which are typically working class and predominantly black or hispanic. One of the 20 most commonly used chemicals in the U.S., benzene occurs in crude oil, gasoline, vehicle exhaust and cigarette smoke, as well as in glues, paints, furniture waxes and detergents, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Multiple studies have shown that long-term exposure to elevated levels of benzene can cause leukemia, which is a cancer affecting blood-forming tissues, according to the American Cancer Society. Benzene can also cause poor red blood cell production and anemia, and can change blood levels of antibodies, which boosts risk of infection, according to the CDC. The report found that breathing in benzene concentrations as low as 13 micrograms per cubic meter over a lifetime could cause one additional cancer case for every 10,000 people exposed. EPA regulations dictate that benzene levels higher than nine micrograms per cubic meter over the course of a year require action on the part of the refineries, though they are not in violation of the law, The Guardian reported. "The federal action level is intended as a benchmark to flag when emissions are higher than expected, so that facilities can look for the cause and take early action," an EPA spokesperson told The Hill. "The federal action level is not based on an analysis of risk levels to the community — but rather on emissions from the facility." The top 10 refineries emitting benzene above EPA limits were: Philadelphia Energy Solutions - Philadelphia, PA (49 micrograms per cubic meter)HollyFrontier Navajo Artesia - Artesia, NM (36 micrograms per cubic meter)Total Port Arthur Refinery - Port Arthur, TX (22.3 micrograms per cubic meter)Pasadena Refining - Pasadena, TX (18 micrograms per cubic meter)Flint Hills Resources Corpus Christi East - Corpus Christi, TX (16.1 micrograms per cubic meter)Chevron Pascagoula - Pascagoula, MS (13.8 micrograms per cubic meter)Valero Corpus Christi East - Corpus Christi, TX (13 micrograms per cubic meter)Chalmette Refining - Chalmette, LA (12.3 micrograms per cubic meter)Shell Deer Park - Deer Park, TX (11.1 micrograms per cubic meter)Marathon Galveston Bay Texas City - Texas City, TX (10 micrograms per cubic meter)The leading emitter, Philadelphia Energy Solutions, shut down its South Philadelphia refinery and filed for bankruptcy following a large explosion last June. During the year before, air monitors showed the net concentration of benzene near the facility was five times the EPA action level. In May 2019, the air monitors detected benzene levels at more than 21 times above the action level, NBC News reported. NBC also cited census data showing 60 percent of the 297,000 people living within three miles of the PES refinery are minorities, and around 45 percent live below the poverty line. At the HollyFrontier Navajo Artesia refinery in New Mexico, monitors detected a net concentration of 998 micrograms per cubic meter during one two-week period, UPI reported. The net concentration for the year was three times higher than the EPA limits. "These results highlight refineries that need to do a better job of installing pollution controls and implementing safer workplace practices to reduce the leakage of this cancer-causing pollutant into local communities," Eric Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Environmental Integrity Project, said in a press release. "Now, EPA needs to enforce these rules." Related Articles Around the Web After Earlier Assurances Over Air Quality, Benzene From ... › Drummond to pay $775k in ABC Coke benzene pollution settlement ... › Benzene Pollution from Deer Park Fire a "Real Risk to Human Health" › Elevated level of cancer-causing benzene detected at Greeley school › Six Texas Oil Refineries Are Among the Nation's Worst Benzene ... ›

Rampant pesticide use and habitat loss has already crippled bumblebee populations. New research now shows that warming temperatures around the world will further push bumblebees to the brink of extinction, as The New York Times reported. Read More

The Trump administration finalized plans Thursday to open public lands in Utah to the fossil fuel industry. Read More

T-shirt weather in Antarctica? The continent just measured its hottest temperature on record at a balmy nearly 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Read More

Efforts to contain the Wuhan coronavirus and fears that it can spread and form a global pandemic have slowed industries around the world. Shipping is delayed, cars and electronics are stalled on the assembly line, and commodity markets around the world are predicting losses because of the virus. Fears around the virus even have Olympic officials worried that it could impact Tokyo's planning for the summer games scheduled for the end of July, according to CNN. Read More

The world's largest iceberg, which broke free from Antarctica in 2017, is about to escape the boundaries of the continent's perennial sea ice and make its way into the open ocean, according to the BBC. Read More

1. Minnesota seeks volunteers for free COVID-19 tests to assess virus spread - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Sep 16, 2020 # health 1 min, 27 secs
2. It's Time to Thwip Our Way Into a Friday Gif Party - Gizmodo
Sep 18, 2020 # technology 12 secs
3. Alicia Keys Reveals Release Date For Delayed Self-Titled Album - Billboard
Sep 14, 2020 # entertainment 1 min, 5 secs
4. 'America's Got Talent': BTS lights up results show with 'Dynamite'; top 10 finalists set - USA TODAY
Sep 17, 2020 # entertainment 1 min, 24 secs
5. Climate change: Warmth shatters section of Greenland ice shelf - BBC News
Sep 14, 2020 # politics 53 secs
6. Edna Wright, Honey Cone Singer and Sister of Darlene Love, Dies - msnNOW
Sep 13, 2020 # entertainment 34 secs
7. How New Dancing With The Stars Host Tyra Banks Did As Tom Bergeron's Replacement In Season 29 Premiere - CinemaBlend
Sep 15, 2020 # entertainment 1 min, 12 secs
8. Five people infected by flesh-eating bacteria from Long Island Sound - New York Post
Sep 14, 2020 # health 50 secs
9. We All Need Space. 11 Sublime Images From ‘Astronomy Photographer Of The Year’ That Will Make You Gasp - Forbes
Sep 12, 2020 # science 1 min, 9 secs
10. Shark discovery: Mysterious predators 'bigger than great whites' lurking in ocean depths - Daily Express
Sep 12, 2020 # science 57 secs
11. 2020 NBA playoffs: 10 key questions ahead of Celtics-Heat Eastern Conference finals showdown - CBS Sports
Sep 15, 2020 # politics 2 mins, 26 secs
12. Losing 13 percent of your weight could lead to big improvements in your health - The Washington Post
Sep 13, 2020 # politics 33 secs
13. Jon Gosselin's daughter Hannah defends dad after brother's abuse claims - Page Six
Sep 17, 2020 # entertainment 37 secs
14. Apple event 2020: Here's how to watch the rumored iPad, Apple Watch announcement - CNET
Sep 14, 2020 # technology 30 secs
15. This Common Household Cleaner Was Just Proven to Kill COVID, EPA Says - msnNOW
Sep 17, 2020 # health 48 secs
16. Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton's Romance Takes Center Stage During 2020 ACM Awards Performance - E! NEWS
Sep 17, 2020 # politics 39 secs


Get monthly updates and free resources.


© Copyright 2020 365NEWSX - All RIGHTS RESERVED