CSB calls on EPA to update HF study in wake of the 2017 Husky refinery fire

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The US Chemical Safety Board released a letter  April 24 calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to review its existing Hydrofluoric Acid (HF) study to determine the effectiveness of existing regulations as well as the viability of utilizing inherently safer alkylation technologies in petroleum refineries.  CSB Interim Executive Kristen Kulinowski said, “In the last 4 years, the CSB has investigated two refinery incidents where an explosion elevated the threat of a release of HF.  Refinery workers and surrounding community residents are rightly concerned about the adequacy of the risk management for the use of hazardous chemicals like HF.  The EPA should review its 1993 HF study to ensure the health and safety of communities near petroleum refineries utilizing HF.”  HF is a highly toxic chemical that can seriously injure or cause death at a concentration of 30 parts per million (PPM), which is used in about fifty of the U.S.’s...
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CSB releases factual update on April explosion and fire at Wisconsin refinery

  Superior, Wisconsin, August 2, 2018: Today the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released a factual update into its ongoing investigation of the April 26, 2018, explosion and subsequent fires at the Husky Superior Refinery in Superior, Wisconsin. The initial explosion occurred in the refinery’s Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCCU) at approximately 10:00 am while the refinery was shutting down the FCCU for periodic maintenance and inspection. To date the CSB has determined the following: The explosion took place during a planned maintenance shutdown of the refinery FCCU. The incident occurred during a scheduled break time and many workers previously in the unit before the explosion had moved either into blast resistant buildings or away from the process unit. One piece of debris from the explosion flew about 200 feet, and struck a large, nearby, aboveground storage tank containing about 50,000 barrels of asphalt. The side of the tank was punctured,...
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Shrapnel from explosion sets stage for huge Husky refinery fire in April

Rather than race to the scene, Superior, WI Fire Chief Steve Panger went straight to fire department headquarters when an April 26 refinery explosion rocked the community. Planning for an emergency response on the scale required that day had long been in place, he said.  “I knew we’d have callback crews of off-duty personnel reporting immediately,” Panger said. “My immediate job was to manage those crews and cover the fire stations emptied by the initial response to the blast.”  As the incident progressed and the stations were backfilled, Panger would move to the command post already set up by Husky Energy personnel. The explosion in a fluid catalytic cracking unit triggered an ongoing fire at the 38,000 bpd refinery that burned for the next eight hours, forcing an evacuation of Superior, population 27,000. Those residents were not allowed to return until the following morning. At the time of the blast, the...
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Utility seeks rate hike following April refinery fire in Wisconsin

  Superior, WI - Superior Water, Light & Power's loss of net income due to the explosion at the Husky Energy refinery in April is being factored into a rate request the utility filed last week with the Public Service Commission.   To read the entire article, CLICK HERE .
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