OGJ Washington Editor
WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 17 -- The US Environmental Protection Agency launched an investigation of a possible benzene release at BP America Inc.’s Texas City refinery, joining other government investigations of the Apr. 6 incident. The Sept. 16 action commences another set of procedures that will help other federal and state regulators, according to Al Armendariz, EPA regional administrator, in Dallas.
He said as a first step, EPA will require the BP PLC subsidiary to disclose specific information regarding its operations during the incident within 30 days. It issued a request under the federal Clean Air Act’s authority for all information regarding the incident, which began on Apr. 6 and ended on May 16.
The incident resulted in the flaring of chemicals which could have resulted in a catastrophic release of benzene, a hazardous air pollutant, EPA said. It said that it will also examine the promptness of BP’s investigation following the incident, and whether it resulted in possible or actual harm.
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