Ohio EPA detects no air contamination after refinery explosion

January 19, 2015

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced  an all-clear for air contamination on Sunday, after an explosion in a Husky Energy oil refinery in Lima, Ohio that took place on January 10. The accident triggered a fire which burned for 14 hours, and released black smoke into the air. The building was not evacuated at the time.

Following testing conducted by the U.S. EPA, Allen County and Husky Energy, the Ohio EPA stated that no air contamination had been detected. Testing covered a variety of contaminants, including benzene, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen sulfide and asbestos. Heidi Griesmer, spokeswoman for the Ohio EPA, stated that results were all a "non-detect," although tests would continue for a week longer, to ensure there are no residual effects. 

Husky Energy, as a Canadian firm operating American refineries in the United States, plans to continue monitoring the situation in case of future contamination, and will be overseen by the Ohio EPA as they conduct their work.

The company continues to assess damages caused by the explosion and intends to have more to report in the coming weeks. The Husky refinery in Lima, Ohio, produces approximately 25% of the gasoline used by that state

The refinery produces gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, residual fuels and petrochemical feedstocks. Saturday's explosion occurred in a processing unit of the refinery, where crude oil is heated to begin the breakdown process that creates new products. No injuries were reported after the accident, although minor property damage did occur in areas outside of the refinery. 

Environmental consultants can help create strategies to revitalize contaminated air and go over emergency procedures to help keep businesses running smoothly.