High Benzene Levels Found In TX and LA Refineries

Feb 14, 2020

HIGH BENZENE LEVELS - Some oil refineries in southeast Texas and south Louisiana have been reported to emit more benzene than the EPA allows.
Credit Courtesy: Environmental Integrity Project

EXCEEDS RECOMMENDED LEVELS - A recent report  finds ten oil refineries in the  United States released more of a cancer-causing pollutant into the air than federal guidelines allow.  Six of them are in Texas, one is in Louisiana.   The Environmental Integrity Project  analyzed data on benzene levels taken at the fencelines  from  the  refineries that was  submitted  to  the US Environmental Protection Agency over a one-year period, ending last September.

Eric Schaeffer is the director of the DC-based nonprofit group.  He says in addition to cancer, there are other health risks associated with exposure to benzene.     

​"You are starting to see an increased risk of suppression of immune systems," Schaeffer explained. "There's concern that children are particularly vulnerable. And if your immune system is compromised then you're at greater risk of infection."     

Eric Shaeffer, Director for Environmental Integrity Project
Credit Courtesy: Environmental Integrity Project

Schaffer  adds the data on benzene levels is meant to be actionable so that the refineries can investigate and take measures to reduce pollution.   The Texas refineries in the top 10 Benzene levels are in South Texas, they are located  in  Texas City, Corpus Christi, Port Arthur, Pasedena, and  Deer Park. The Louisiana refinery is in Chalmette, La.  One Mississippi refinery also made the top 10 list,  it’s located in Pascagoula.

To view the report, Click Link: Monitering For Benzene At Refinery Fencelines