Several refineries damaged by Harvey leaked hazardous chemicals into the air around Houston, reports show AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File
FILE - In this April 16, 2010, file photo, steam rises from towers at an Exxon Mobil refinery in Baytown, Texas. Decisions by President Barack Obama's administration overturning Texas' air permitting program show that Democrats in control of the federal government are taking a stand against Perry and his long-running fight with the feds. Exxon Mobil, the nation's largest refinery, and several other facilities in Texas have been operating under permits never approved by the EPA. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)

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.

RELATED: How Unchecked Development Resulted in Greater Damage From Harvey’s Waters

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.

RELATED: Mental, Physical Evacuee Health Issues the Latest Problem for Houston Shelters

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.

Stories You Might Like