Friday, November 20, 2009
Delaware City Refinery Closing
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control responds to news of refinery closing
DOVER - At the direction of Delaware Governor Jack Markell, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Collin P. O’Mara has assembled a team of environmental scientists and engineers to oversee the safe and orderly shutdown and stabilization of the Delaware City Refinery in response to an announcement this morning that owner Valero Energy Corporation is permanently shutting down the facility.
“We have mobilized a team of experts in our air, waste and water programs and are also coordinating with environmental health staff with the Department of Health and Social Services and our counterparts at the Environmental Protection Agency to assure that public health and the environment are protected during this transitional period,” said Secretary O’Mara. “We have been working with the refinery on issues associated with a planned maintenance shutdown of the entire refinery for weeks and are prepared for it. The orderly shutdown of the equipment has already begun with the shutdown in October of one of the refinery’s major processing units. The remaining units have been operating at reduced rates and will be taken offline in a manner protective of health, safety and the environment. DNREC staff has been in constant contact with the refinery personnel and have been monitoring the shutdown activities and will continue to do so throughout the remainder of this period.”
“The near complete shutdown of the refinery earlier this year was accomplished without incident. The decision not to restart the equipment presents us with a list of questions and environmental concerns in the long term. We plan to assess the impacts thoroughly and coordinate with refinery personnel. Our goal is to ensure that all short and long term risks to our air, water and land are considered and addressed appropriately,” said O’Mara. “Beyond our environmental concerns our thoughts are with the employees and their families as they face this challenging time.”
In addition to closely coordinating with refinery personnel during the shutdown period, DNREC and Department of Health and Social Services staff will be on standby with monitoring and response equipment should any environmental incidents occur. Longer-term issues associated with permitting, on-going cleanup, removing petroleum products and operational status of the equipment will, in part, depend on the future use of the facility which is obviously unknown at this time. The DNREC team will be assessing these issues in a coordinated, comprehensive fashion.
"Probably" is pretty dangerous...
Some people/kids simply learn the hard way because they are mindless and callous with their ignorance.