The April 26, 2018 incident at the Superior Refinery included the combustion of oil and asphalt, which caused air quality concerns for those near the fire and downwind of the refinery.
Husky currently has 26 air monitoring units at and around the Superior Refinery site to continuously monitor air quality. Two mobile units are continuously monitoring in the community 24 hours a day. This monitoring has resulted in more than 9.5 million air quality readings in the community and at the refinery. None of that monitoring showed concentrations above health-based thresholds.
For more information:
Air quality data collected is being provided to the Environmental Protection Agency and Douglas County Department of Health & Human Services.
The Douglas County Department of Health & Human Services has been posting the daily air monitoring results to its website:
( Air Monitoring Maps and Results)
If you have health concerns as a result of air quality, please seek medical attention and contact the Douglas County Department of Health & Human Services
1. The asphalt fire on site generated a lot of dark black smoke.
Air quality during any industrial incident is a serious concern. Smoke from the April 26 fire moved downwind from the refinery in a southwest direction before it dissipated.
EPA comments on air quality can be found here:
US EPA has publicly confirmed these findings. News articles containing the US EPA comments on air quality can be found here:
Fox 21, April 27
Superior Telegram, April 27
2. Why was the area evacuated?
Evacuation zones for hydrogen fluoride and other hazardous chemicals are designated by Douglas County in case of this type of emergency.
Although hydrogen fluoride safety mitigation systems remained functional during the April 26 fire, and no hydrogen fluoride was released, the Company believes an evacuation of residents by public officials was the right public safety decision.
3. What if I find soot, ash or debris from the fire?
Third-party experts and US EPA contractors specifically looking for soot deposited due to the fire have not found any visual soot deposits. Debris did scatter off the refinery site.
If you have found any soot, ashes or debris from the fire at the Superior Refinery on your property, please contact the 24-Hour Residents’ Line at 1-855-527-5002, or contact the Douglas County Department of Health & Human Services. Husky will send someone to retrieve it.
Douglas County provided residents with an update on soot and ash, and soil and gardening information, following the refinery fire. It can be found here.