EPA asked to reconsider use of dangerous chemical

A group of onlookers watch a plume of black smoke billow.
A group of onlookers watch a plume of black smoke billow from the site of the Husky Energy oil refinery April 26, 2018, in Superior, Wis.
Derek Montgomery for MPR News 2018

The Duluth City Council is asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider whether petroleum refineries should be allowed to continue their use of a dangerous and potentially deadly chemical.

KBJR-TV reports the council voted late Monday on the request involving hydrogen fluoride and the safety of area residents following the reconstruction of a refinery that exploded in neighboring Superior, Wis.

The Husky Energy oil refinery was rocked last April by a huge blast and fire. The flying shrapnel narrowly missed a tank of hydrogen fluoride, a toxic chemical that can be deadly if inhaled.

Husky spokesperson Mel Duvall noted in April that the refinery will still use hydrogen fluoride when the $400 million facility is rebuilt. The mayors of Duluth and Superior urged Husky to stop using the chemical.

Before you keep reading ...

MPR News is made by Members. Gifts from individuals fuel the programs that you and your neighbors rely on. Donate today to power news, analysis, and community conversations for all.