On Tuesday, thanks to Harvey, Exxon Mobil said two of its refineries leaked 12,000 pounds of hazardous chemical vapor into the air after sustaining hurricane damage.
And the release wasn’t an isolated incident:
More than 12 other reports were filed with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality about chemical production companies near Houston releasing contaminants after sustaining damage.
The Exxon plant, which shut down on Sunday, was one of the largest in the United States.
During its shutdown, it reportedly released chemicals into the air – something the facility planned for and amount of which came within standard release practice legal limits.
However, according to PBS, heavy rains sank the roof of one container at the facility, causing another gout of uncontrolled chemical emissions into the air around Houston.
The damage to Exxon’s tank was due to the collapse of a floating roof, a part of the tank which can move up and down with the level of liquid inside it; this particular part is already noted to be susceptible to damage and/or becoming completely dislodged from its tank during a hurricane.
But even with the awareness, Exxon’s leak wasn’t even the worst around town:
Pasadena Terminal, near the Shipping Channel, expelled 394,000 pounds of hazardous vapor between Sunday and Monday.
The cause? Another damaged floating tank roof.
Companies are currently working to clean up the mess as best they can, with Pasadena Terminal saying it is ?taking all necessary steps to prevent or minimize any increased risk to human health and safety and to the environment? in its damage report.
This is a developing story.