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Refinery Fire Illustrates Environmental Dangers of Industrial Plants

Wilmington chemical exposure lawyers hold environmental offenders responsible.When the 63-year-old oil refinery hugging the edges of Delaware City began to burn earlier this month, its plumes of smoke became visual reminders of the dangers people face when they live and work close to industrial plants. Although the fire is gone and emergency response teams were heralded for their fast reactions, many individuals who reside or spend time near the refinery are still uncertain about their safety.

Problems with Industrial Fires

Fires can break out in any structure, but when those structures house chemicals and fossil fuels, they become especially hazardous. Aside from explosions that could potentially put nearby structures at risk, those types of fires can release toxic substances into the atmosphere. While not everyone may be sensitive to the contaminants of black smoke, others could experience short-term or even long-term problems.

For instance, consider someone with a compromised immune or respiratory system, such as a senior citizen or a child with asthma. For them, being close to this type of disaster could cause physical hardships, not to mention discomfort and pain.

Life Near Industries

Oil refineries are merely one type of industry that could be set up close to residential neighborhoods or office parks. From pharmaceutical makers to manufacturers of pet foods, any type of industrial firm could set up shop. This could increase risks for everyone who calls the area home, especially in the case of pollutants being released into the air and soil. Depending upon the direction of the wind or the by-products created by a disaster, like a fire, residents can be put in immediate danger.

Other Facts About the Fire

As media began to dig into the oil refinery fire, some interesting and concerning facts arose, including:

  • Fires had taken place at the oil refinery previously, but were not well-known because the smoke was not as apparent.
  • Environmental regulators have assured the press that no one was injured from the blaze, despite individuals noting an odor, and some reporting headaches after the fire was put out.
  • Not everyone in the neighborhoods around the burning oil refinery were notified, despite emails that were allegedly distributed to specific parts of the community.
  • The air has been monitored for sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide, just in case. Thus far, no detection of the two hazardous chemicals has been noted by air monitoring authorities.
  • The oil refinery is reportedly in violation of the Clean Air Act and has been for at least two years. Additionally, the refinery has been plagued with other environmental violations, including an unpermitted release of an unknown amount of sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide.

Wilmington Chemical Exposure Lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Hold Environmental Offenders Responsible

Not everyone lives near an oil refinery in Delaware, but many individuals and families live close to industrial structures and businesses. If you feel that a nearby industrial plant’s burn-off, run-off, or by-products may be negatively affecting you and your family, please contact the Wilmington chemical exposure lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Call us today at 302-656-5445 or contact us online to set up a free initial consultation. Located in Wilmington and Georgetown, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.