On November 27, 2019, residents in southeast Texas experienced a devastating public health threat when a 218-acre TPC petrochemical plant blew up in Port Noches, Texas. (Photo credit: NBCNews.com) The plant produces flammable toxic chemicals: raffinate, a petroleum gas, and butadiene, which is used in the production of plastics and synthetic rubber for tires. For…

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The specter of “friendly” chemical dispersants used in oil spill response was just resurrected in a CNN opinion editorial over the weekend. The ghost was adorned with the finest of the oil industry’s favorite sayings of the past 40 years. “…dispersants work like dishwashing soap!” Oh? As any boater knows, it’s illegal to discharge soap…

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Just before Thanksgiving, federal Judge Barbier ruled that BP would not be responsible, up-front, for illnesses that were diagnosed after April 2012 in spill response workers. In a media interview, former cleanup workers described flu-like symptoms known as the “BP Crud,” inadequate training, and minimal equipment that failed to protect them from the pervasive oil…

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Imagine if you were one of the people in Greeley, Colorado, who had been stuck in traffic for hours, because unknown chemicals that had “something to do with fracking” had been spilled in the road. What sort of questions might have run through your mind? First responders­ included Greeley’s Fire and Police Departments and Colorado’s…

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The rapid expansion of oil and gas activities has been driven by intense political and economic pressures. Increased frequency of spills have created large areas with at-risk populations––the so-called “Sacrifice Zones.” These zones are not just in remote areas, but also populated urban areas. The public health symptoms from exposure to oil and gas activities…

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