Hazardous pollutants were released as a result of a roof collapse caused by Hurricane Harvey at the Shell Oil Company refinery in Deer Park, Texas.
Harvey caused the release of 100 pounds of benzene and 100 pounds of toluene at the Shell plant, according to a statement from Shell. These include cancerous chemical carcinogens, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports.
Fifteen pounds of benzene at the Exxon Mobil Corporation refinery in Baytown, Texas, were also released as a result of damage by Harvey, said EPA spokesman David Gray.
Spokeswoman Charlotte Huffaker stated that Exxon, based in Irving, Texas, is doing its best to follow EPA guidelines and is taking appropriate measures to make sure all emissions are thoroughly monitored.
‘This is an unprecedented storm, and we have taken every effort to minimize emissions and safely shut down equipment,’ Huffaker said.
Many other facilities have reported problems caused by widespread flooding from Texas all the way into Louisiana.
After approximately 15 percent of the country’s refineries were forced to shut down because of the devastating effects of Harvey this week, gas prices have skyrocketed.
The stock market was also affected when gas futures rose 6 cents, or 4.1 percent, trading at $1.78 a gallon on Tuesday.
According to AAA, retail prices rose by 4 cents to approximately $2.38 a gallon.
Motiva Enterprises, the nation’s largest oil company, located in Port Arthur, Texas, said the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia was dealing with restrictions of crude oil coming in and gasoline going out, said a spokesperson for the enterprise.
Collateral effects on the movement of crude oil and refined gasoline are also resulting from widespread flooding and wind damage caused by Hurricane Harvey.
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