How did EPA air surveillance go uncheck on the explosion of the oil refinery?

How did EPA air surveillance go uncheck on the explosion of the oil refinery?

The largest oil refinery on the East Coast hit an explosion in the summer of 2019. Smoke filled the skies above the plant’s southern district of Philadelphia. It was confirmed later that the incident consumed approximately 600,000 pounds of hydrocarbons. The harmful chemical that may cause blindness, burning, or other wounds, more than 5,000 pounds of hydrofluoric acid, was also released into the air.

Yet the local areas have not received an evacuation warning. City officials released a temporary shelter notice while also ensuring the air is secure for residents. The air in Philadelphia, operated by the city and feeding data to the national air monitoring system of the Environmental Protection Agency, looked about average — no data blip.

According to a new bombshell report by Reuters, that phenomenon is frighteningly common.

Reuters reporters, Tim McLaughlin, Laila Kearney, and Laura Sanicola wrote, “The Government’s network of 3,900 surveillance systems across the country has regularly ignored important releases and pollution hazards on a daily basis. Ten of the last decade’s largest refinery explosions? Winy, poisonous air-filled particles penetrated the lungs of people and contributed to thousands of hospitalizations? Nothing occurred if you were actually analyzing the air quality data of the EPA.

How did EPA air surveillance go uncheck on the explosion of the oil refinery?

The nearest EPA air quality system was actually not working the morning of the explosion in the case of the Philadelphia refinery — it was scheduled only to capture the data every six days. This was the same in 2012 when a Chevron refinery exploded in Richmond, California. Only samples were taken every 12 days from the nearest EPA air quality monitor.

However, the only problem that Reuters uncovered was not sporadic tracking. Some of the network monitors are not currently able to detect tinier particles that form during the burning of harmful chemicals such as benzene and other hydrocarbons. These “fine particles” will penetrate the bloodstream causing all sorts of medical problems, including lung diseases and cardiac diseases.

Reuters said that 120 million Americans do not have EPA systems in counties to detect this particulate matter. Residents of the Superior, Wisconsin, 27,000, for example, couldn’t say what they breathed after an oil refinery burst in 2018 and black smoke bleached the area.

The shortcomings of the federal air quality control network are not just a catastrophe problem — they also form part of the Air Quality Index. On a rainy summer day and even after a near-by wildfire, when you have ever tested your weather app and warned you of the risk of air quality, this is thanks partly to the EPA air quality controls. Individuals with prior health problems depend on the notifications to be secure. The data from the monitors also warn air quality permits for new industrial installations, helping to decide if an area might be too polluting to invite new ones.

Researchers and current and former regulators told Reuters that inadequate finance, poor monitor positioning, and unreliable or insufficient hardware are causal to the system’s deficiencies.

In a survey study carried out by Corbett Grainger, professor of environmental economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, State regulators have opted to put monitoring in cleaner air areas in some instances, helping industry escape regulatory impacts on exceeding emissions levels.

The EPO refused to comment on this study and denied the accuracy or reliability concerns of its method. “The monitoring network provides data to enable policymakers – states, officials of public health, etc. – to make informed public health decisions,” said the EPA in its declaration.

How did EPA air surveillance go uncheck on the explosion of the oil refinery?

Rajat Singh
Rajat Singh is the chief Author at Bioinformatics India, he has been writing for the past 3 years and has a special interest in SEO, Technology, Health, Life Sciences and gaming.

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