EPA investigating BP Texas City refinery benzene release

RP news wires

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has initiated an investigation of the British Petroleum (BP) plant in Texas City, Texas. By launching this effort under federal law, EPA brings another set of investigative procedures to help federal and state regulators review the incident.

"By joining the investigation, EPA will help ensure disclosure of all information by BP," said EPA regional administrator Al Armendariz. "It is important the EPA, state officials and public know what happened at the plant, and that BP is held accountable to prevent incidents like these from happening in the future."

As a first step in the process, EPA is requiring BP to disclose specific information regarding its operations during the incident. The Information Request, issued under the authority of the federal Clean Air Act, requests all information regarding the incident starting on April 6, 2010 and ending on May 16, 2010. The information will be used by EPA to determine whether the BP refinery in Texas City is in compliance with the Clean Air Act.

The information requested includes whether BP investigated the incident that occurred on April 6, 2010, which resulted in the flaring of chemicals that could have reasonably resulted in a catastrophic release of a hazardous air pollutant. EPA will also look at the promptness of the investigation after the release.

After reviewing the Information Request, EPA can better understand the actual or possible harm caused by the catastrophic release.

BP has 30 days to provide the requested information.

More about activities in EPA Region 6: http://www.epa.gov/region6

EPA audio file is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6/6xa/podcast/sep2010.html

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