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Residents Shelter-in-Place After Chemical Release at Marathon Refinery

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Officials told residents to stay in their homes after an amount of hydrogen fluoride was released at the facility.

Emergency personnel responded to the Marathon Petroleum Galveston Bay Refinery in Texas City, TX Tuesday afternoon after a chemical release occurred at the facility.

Some residents near the plant were ordered to shelter-in-place as a precaution after hydrogen fluoride was released, city officials told television news station KHOU.

“Please go indoors. Turn off air-conditioning units and close all windows, and continue to monitor social media,” the City of Texas City posted on its Facebook page. “Emergency personnel are on site with detection monitoring systems and are further investigating. Currently, no detection levels have been indicated.”

The order was lifted about an hour later. Reports said two workers were taken to an area hospital.

Marathon said in a statement to Houston Public Media that an automated response system went into action to mitigate the small chemical release and air monitoring data shows no impacts outside of the facility. The company said it intends to conduct an investigation into the cause of the incident.

The Galveston Bay Refinery has the capacity to refine 593,000 barrels of crude oil per calendar day (bpcd) into a range of products, including chemical-grade propylene, fuel-grade coke, aromatics, distillates, and sulfur, according to information on Marathon’s website.

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