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Here’s why AQMD committee chose enhanced safety measures over a ban on MHF at refineries in Wilmington and Torrance – Daily Breeze
Improved safety systems at two South Bay refineries are preferable to a phase-out and eventual ban of modified hydrofluoric acid, a subcommittee of the region’s air pollution watchdog has recommended.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District voted 3-2 over the weekend to recommend to the agency’s governing board they should support the option of signing a memorandum of understanding with each refinery in Torrance and Wilmington that will pave the way for more mitigation systems to reduce the risk of an accidental release of the toxic chemical.

A vote on the issue by the full AQMD governing board could come later this year.

That mirrors what the committee said in April 2018 when it rejected a ban of the chemical because of a lack of current alternatives to MHF.

“Everything we do in life has risks and what we try to do is manage that risk the best we can through training, through technology improvements,” committee chairman Larry McCallon, who is also mayor of the San Bernardino County community of Highland, said before the vote at the end of the all-day meeting.
us_CA  industrial  follow-up  environmental  hydrofluoric_acid 
2 hours ago by dchas
Investigations of Philadelphia refinery fire to include potential release of dangerous chemical
Investigators from the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board who are investigating Friday’s refinery fire in South Philadelphia say their report will include recommendations aimed at preventing future incidents.

Kristen Kulinowski, interim executive of the independent agency, said staff will be interviewing people involved and poring over documents to present a “detailed and fact-based report” of the fire at Philadelphia Energy Solutions.

Kulinowski said those recommendations could be aimed at the company or regulators.

“Wherever we see a gap that could have contributed to the incident or exacerbated the consequences of that incident we try to close that gap with a recommendation,” she said.

The explosion and fire took a day and a half to extinguish and destroyed the alkylation unit that turned crude oil into gasoline. The former Sunoco refinery includes two facilities, Point Breeze and Girard Point, which together had the combined capacity of processing 335,000 barrels of crude oil a day.
us_PA  industrial  explosion  response  petroleum 
2 hours ago by dchas
APG Chemical Exposure Sends 1 To Hospital: Officials
HARFORD COUNTY, MD — Someone exposed to a chemical at Aberdeen Proving Ground was taken to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air Saturday for evaluation, officials said. The hazmat team and Bel Air firefighters were at the hospital for about an hour and a half.

The Harford County Hazardous Team and Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company were at Upper Chesapeake before 1:40 p.m. Saturday, June 22, according to Jenn Chenworth, spokeswoman for the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association.

There was no threat to the community or those at the hospital, Chenworth said.
us_MD  industrial  release  injury  unknown_chemical 
2 days ago by dchas
Langkat, fire in an illegal factory leaves 30 dead. Two arrests
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Two people are under investigation by the authorities for a deadly fire in an illegal lighter factory in the province of North Sumatera (east of Jakarta), which killed 30 people including 24 women and 6 children.  The tragedy took place yesterday in Sambirejo, a village in the regency of Langkat, about 70km west of the provincial capital Medan. 

Gen.  Agus Andrianto, head of the provincial police, reported today that a man and a woman - identified as the owner and director of the illegal laboratory - are currently in a state of detention.

The flames broke out when a worker was checking the operation of a product.  This exploded and the worker, in a panic, threw it on thousands of ready-to-pack lighters, triggering a massive explosion.  The fire spread quickly, because most of the building structure was made of wood.

The victims trapped inside could not escape because the main door was locked.  Binsar Naibaho, head of the local police, says: "Windows and entrances were walled up.  We couldn't even see what had happened inside the factory. "  Four people were saved because they were on their lunch break and they witnessed the drama from outside.
Indonesia  industrial  release  death  unknown_chemical  illegal 
2 days ago by dchas
'Damn, This Is Bad': Fire Continues to Burn After South Philly Refinery Blast
A small fire continued to burn Saturday at the East Coast's largest oil refinery a day after explosions and a predawn blaze that shook homes, sent a fireball aloft and caused some minor injuries.

Workers tried to isolate the remaining line feeding the fire at the 150-year-old Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery in South Philly, but access is limited "due to the damage and instability of the remaining structure," a PES spokeswoman said.

Officials haven't decided whether to let fire burn itself out, "but that may occur before we can safely isolate it," the spokeswoman said.

"Managing the small existing fire in this manner is safest for the environment, (company) employees, and the surrounding community to bring the incident to a safe conclusion," the company said in a statement.
us_PA  industrial  fire  injury  petroleum 
2 days ago by dchas
Air quality committee rejects ban on toxic acid used in South Bay refineries
Air quality officials on Saturday moved to close the door on a ban of a dangerous acid used at two South Bay oil refineries that community groups have sought since a 2015 explosion raised concerns about the potential for a catastrophic release.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District’s Republican-controlled refinery committee voted 3-2 to support an industry-backed alternative. The plan directs agency staff to develop agreements with refineries in Torrance and Wilmington that would allow them to keep using modified hydrofluoric acid, with enhanced safety measures.

The highly toxic chemical, used to make high-octane gasoline, can form a deadly, ground-hugging cloud that could drift into surrounding communities and cause mass casualties in the event of a major leak.

The decision followed hours of testimony at a packed public hearing in Diamond Bar that pitted South Bay residents and environmentalists urging a ban on the chemical against business groups, building trades representatives and refinery workers who said it would be too costly.
us_CA  industrial  follow-up  environmental  hydrofluoric_acid 
2 days ago by dchas
Philly 'narrowly dodged a catastrophe’ as deadly chemical wasn’t released in refinery fire
A series of explosions and a spectacular fire ripped through a South Philadelphia oil refinery early Friday, rattling windows, injuring workers, unnerving the city, and causing gasoline markets to spike on speculation of fuel shortages.

The incident at Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES), the East Coast’s largest refinery, injured five workers, who were treated at the scene. The fire was still burning Friday night.

Safety advocates said the danger could have been far worse had the blast released a cloud of hydrogen fluoride, a deadly chemical used in the refining process.

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), an independent federal agency, announced Friday that it was dispatching a four-person team to Philadelphia to investigate the incident, which was similar to refinery accidents in Torrance, Calif., in 2015 and Superior, Wis., last year that came perilously close to releasing hydrogen fluoride. The Wisconsin accident prompted a temporary evacuation of residents.
us_PA  industrial  explosion  injury  gasoline  hydrofluoric_acid  petroleum 
3 days ago by dchas
Philly had just trained for an incident like refinery fire: ‘It worked out exactly how it should have’
There is never a good time for an oil refinery explosion, but Friday morning’s Philadelphia Energy Solutions fire came about as close as you can get.

The city’s Office of Emergency Management and Fire Department were fresh off a discussion at the Navy Yard, where various agencies met Thursday to plan an inter-agency response to a specific hazardous emergency. The officials discussed each agency’s planned response and protocol to make sure everyone was on the same page, said Noëlle Foizen, deputy director for public engagement for the Office of Emergency Management.

While the training wasn’t specifically about responding to a refinery emergency, it’s reflective of the type of training city officials are constantly undertaking to better work with one another in emergency situations.

Less than 24 hours later, Foizen’s office, along with the Fire Department and several other agencies, leaped into action in response to the fire that closed streets and the George C. Platt Memorial Bridge, and had residents sheltering in place for several hours.
us_PA  industrial  follow-up  environmental  petroleum 
3 days ago by dchas
Advance Disposal in Hesperia evacuated Friday morning after explosion
HESPERIA, Calif. (VVNG.com) — Employees at Advance Disposal in Hesperia were evacuated following a small explosion within their facility Friday morning.

It happened just after 8:30 am, on June 21, 2019, in the 17100 block of Mesa Street in Hesperia.

San Bernardino County Firefighters arrived on scene and located the employees who had already evacuated the facility prior to their arrival.

County Fire spokesperson Eric Sherwin said the explosion took place in some kind of sorting machinery and it was possibly a compressed vessel or container like a fire extinguisher that went through the machine and failed and exploded.

“Out of an abundance of caution, they sealed it off. We do have hazmat personnel onsite. They made entry into the facility to test the air and check for any hazardous conditions,” stated Sherwin.
us_CA  industrial  explosion  response  waste 
3 days ago by dchas
1 taken to hospital, 7 treated after foaming acid spill at Fairfield business
FAIRFIELD, Ohio — One person was transported to an area hospital, according to Fairfield Fire Chief Don Bennett, following a reported chemical spill. Seven others showing signs of respiratory distress were treated at the scene.

Part of the Koch Foods building on Port Union Road in Fairfield was evacuated at about 8 a.m. Friday.

A chemical company employee was filling a tank with a foaming acid when there was a spill, creating a fume or respiratory irritant, the Journal-News reports.

“There is one dock area that contains all their cleaning solutions and so forth and he was filling off the dock,” Bennett said.

He added the company was very responsible.

“Simply a human error, it happens all the time,” he said.

The situation has been neutralized and production was not interrupted, Bennett said.
us_OH  industrial  release  injury  cleaners 
3 days ago by dchas
OSHA cites Canton manufacturer for respiratory, chemical hazards
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a Canton company for respiratory and chemical hazards.

Ohio Gratings Inc. faces penalties of $183,748 and has been cited for 17 serious and five other-than-serious safety and health violations, a news release stated.

Ohio Gratings, which makes aluminum, stainless steel and carbon products, has contested the citations and penalties, the release stated. The case will now go before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The release said the inspection began in December 2018 after a complaint "alleging poor ventilation and lack of training on chemicals used at the facility." The citations ranged from inadequate machine guarding to struck-by hazards. The release also stated that OSHA found the company was using a "dip tank containing flammable liquid without using proper drainage, overflow piping, adequate ventilation and fire protection," which led to a number of citations.
us_OH  industrial  discovery  environmental  flammables 
3 days ago by dchas
Philadelphia refinery blast puts new spotlight on toxic chemical
(Reuters) - Massive explosions that engulfed a Philadelphia refinery in flames on Friday have renewed concerns about the oil industry’s use of a highly toxic chemical to make high-octane gasoline at plants in densely populated areas.


Aerial video of the scene at Philadelphia Energy Solutions Inc’s refinery, the largest in the northeast, on local television showed significant damage and the massive complex nearly engulfed in flames.

One of the explosions took place in a hydrofluoric acid alkylation unit - a chemical processing unit that has been involved in three near-misses of releases into cities in California, Texas and Wisconsin, according to safety officials.

Hydrofluoric acid (HF) can form a toxic cloud at room temperature while exposure can lead to severe health problems and even death.

Around the Philadelphia refinery, air quality had not yet been cited as a problem. There are about 300,000 people who live within three miles (5 km) of the facility.
us_PA  industrial  follow-up  response  hydrofluoric_acid 
3 days ago by dchas
U.S. Chemical Safety Board to investigate Philly refinery fire
Mayor Jim Kenney has convened a working group to examine safety and air quality protocols at the South Philadelphia refinery rocked by a massive explosion on Friday. It was the second refinery fire in two weeks.

Kenney said in a release sent Friday that the working group would explore longtime concerns from people who live near the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery at 3100 W. Passyunk Ave.

“I believe that there is room for improvement, both in the operation of the refinery in light of two fires in as many weeks, and in the communication to residents,” Kenney said.

He said that the working group will involve Managing Director Brian Abernathy, Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel, the leadership of PES, and unnamed members of the company’s Community Advisory Panel.
us_PA  industrial  discovery  environmental  unknown_chemical 
3 days ago by dchas
Lake County ethylene oxide results released as Pritzker signs law cracking down on emissions
LAKE COUNTY, Ill. (WLS) -- Lake County officials have received preliminary results from tests measuring the levels of cancer-causing chemical ethylene oxide present in the air near medical sterilization plants in Waukegan and Gurnee. The results come on the same day that Governor JB Pritzker signed a law imposing the country's strictest limits on the chemical's emissions, which was spurred by community uproar in south suburban Willowbrook about the amount of the chemical detected in the air there.

Willowbrook residents began raising concerns about the chemical almost a year ago after a federal report found that Sterigenics, a medical sterilization company based in the community, was releasing a level of the gas that could be harmful to the public.

The plant shut down in February after several rounds of environmental testing. A study from the Illinois Department of Public Health the following month confirmed that there were higher rates of cancer near the plant.

The situation in Willowbrook raised concerns among residents in Lake County, where Medline and Vantage Specialty Chemicals use ethylene oxide. Environmental testing began earlier this month. The Lake County Health Department announced Friday that preliminary results indicated elevated levels of ethylene oxide at one location in Waukegan and at varying lower levels at all other sites where measurements were taken. Test results were sent to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, according to Waukegan Mayor Sam Cunningham, and are available to the public online.
us_IL  industrial  follow-up  environmental  ethylene_oxide 
3 days ago by dchas
An ‘extraordinarily severe’ emergency: the radioactive leak at Harborview
A small platform crane hoists two men up near the roof gutter of a flat, one-floor building on the Harborview campus on First Hill. Slowly, one of the men moves a thick, round bar roughly six inches along the gutter with his right hand, stops, and then looks at the radiation survey meter in his left. Then he moves the bar another six inches. And another.

If there is any radiation left from the leak of radioactive material that left 13 people exposed during the decommissioning of an irradiator device in the middle of Seattle on May 2nd, these men will find it and wipe it down.

The concrete L-shaped loading dock and parking lot, wedged between the UW Medicine Harborview Medical Center Research and Training Building and a small administrative building near Terry Ave and Terrace, is already polka-dotted with white paint marks, designating areas where potential traces of Cesium-137 were found.

While being checked for radioactive residue, the R&T building is still on lockdown. State Patrol troopers guard the fenced-off entrances to make sure no one can go in and out. From behind the chain-link, there is not much to see — no Chernobyl-like scenes here — except for a sidewalk-wide stripe of white paint near the loading dock doors and a white plastic box covering the ventilation system. The parking lot exudes a ghostly calm.
us_WA  industrial  release  injury  radiation 
4 days ago by dchas
Smart Machines Are The Future Of Manufacturing
"Capturing IIoT’s full value potential will require more sophisticated integrated approaches than current automation protocols provide. IIoT manufacturing systems are quickly becoming digital manufacturing platforms that integrate ERP, MES, PLM and CRM systems to provide a single unified view of product configurations and support the design-to-manufacturing process."
business  featured  posts  technology  software  trends  &  concepts  design-to-manufacture  iiot  industrial  internet  of  things  louis  columbus'  blog  manufacturing  intelligence 
4 days ago by jonerp
3 sickened employees prompt evacuation of Monsey office building
NSEY -
A large office building in Rockland County was temporarily evacuated Wednesday after employees complained they felt sick.

Dozens of people who work inside the building at 6 Melnick Drive in Monsey were forced to leave after three employees said they felt lightheaded and had itchy throats after being exposed to a chemical spill.

The owner of the store where the spill originated - an essential oils shop called Aroma King - told News 12 the chemical was a food-based alcohol. A hazmat team investigated, and determined the liquid not to be a hazardous material. The building and the roadway reopened a short time after the investigation.

All three employees were treated by paramedics on scene and released.

The building also houses a medical clinic, commercial restaurant equipment store and other businesses.
us_NY  industrial  release  response  oils 
5 days ago by dchas
Fire shuts down paint recycling shop in Eddy
Hazmat crews are cleaning up after a fire ignited at a paint recycling shop in Eddy Wednesday afternoon.

Firefighters were called out to Southern Enterprises of Envirocare around 4:30pm.  After arriving, they evacuated the area and shut down roads leading to the shop.

After putting the fire out and the smoke cleared, firefighters allowed people to return home.

So far there is no word of injuries.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.
us_TX  industrial  fire  response 
5 days ago by dchas
Houston Skies May Darken Again as Disaster-Site Teardown Begins
The company behind the four-day chemical blaze that cast a black plume over Houston earlier this year is preparing to destroy one of the tanks at the facility, raising the risk that the site could see “flash” fires.

Intercontinental Terminals Co. will deconstruct a xylene tank on Wednesday, according to an alert from a community hotline. That could result in “small, short duration flash fires and increased emissions” at the terminal, the alert said. The company said it has a firefighting team on site and has deployed air monitors.

ITC said in March tanks that escaped the flames might have to be demolished anyway because they were compromised by searing temperatures.“With the amount of heat that was exposed to those tanks, we’ll have to take all of those most likely out of service, might have to inspect them, potentially have to demolish them and probably start over,” David Wascome, ITC’s senior vice president of operations, told reporters at the time.
us_TX  industrial  follow-up  environmental  xylene 
5 days ago by dchas
Injured Tyson Workers Improving After Chemical Spill; OSHA Investigation Opened
SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KFSM) -- Tyson officials still haven't said what chemical injured five employees Tuesday (June 19) at its Berry Street plant, but a hospital spokeswoman said the workers' conditions have improved.

Springdale firefighters were called about 8:30 a.m. to the plant at 600 Berry St., where employees were complaining of breathing problems and skin burns after a cleaning agent spilled.

One person has been discharged Wednesday (June 19) and three others were listed in good condition, according to Beth Wright, spokeswoman for Northwest Medical Center-Springdale.

Another worker was listed in serious condition, but due to privacy laws, Wright couldn't confirm if this was the same person listed Tuesday in critical condition.
us_AR  industrial  follow-up  injury  cleaners 
5 days ago by dchas

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