On April 26, 2018 a fire occurred at the Superior Refinery, causing injuries to workers and the evacuation of many area residents. We are working to secure the site and safety remains Husky’s top priority and concern. Area residents are asked to avoid the immediate refinery area if possible so county, state, company and regulatory crews can work.

We want to thank sincerely first responders for their professionalism and bravery, and the broader Superior-Duluth community for rallying to support and care for the injured and for evacuees. Your actions demonstrate true community spirit.

The Superior Refinery may be new to the Husky family, but it’s been an integral part of the Superior area for more than 60 years. Husky remains committed to our employees and the community.

There is considerable work to be done to understand the cause of this incident and to ensure it does not happen again.

Please check here for information and updates.

Refinery Updates

May 19, 2018: Community Update

Overview

Husky Energy continues to work with the community, government agencies and its employees to recover. Working in partnership with community leadership, municipal, state and federal agencies, we continue to make progress towards the goal of securing and stabilizing the refinery. This progress report for the community is intended to keep Superior stakeholders apprised of ongoing safety requirements, environmental mitigation, recovery efforts and environmental monitoring results. Approximately 400 employees and contractors are at the refinery site daily, and about 50 people are staffing the Emergency Operations Center on Hammond Avenue in Superior. Approximately 10 workers are in the community, performing such tasks as air monitoring, claims processing and debris cleanup.

Electricity is restored to a number of buildings at site, including the boiler house control room and crude control room. Last week, 17 buildings on site were inspected and cleared for access.

We continue to clear areas within and around the facility to facilitate cleanup and the next phases of work. Additional hydrocarbon removal plans were developed this week and work continues to de-inventory various areas of the site. On Wednesday, the on-site ammonia tank was emptied and on Thursday gasoline was removed from the hydrogen gasoline desulfurization unit.

A large crane arrived on site last Saturday to secure the stripper tower. The tower is now secured and scheduled for de-inventory this week.

On Thursday, Stinson Avenue reopened to traffic. We ask drivers to lower their speeds and refrain from stopping when travelling past the refinery due to ongoing work at the site. Residents using the road should be aware that there may occasionally be a need for temporary road closures to accommodate safe work on site.

The company has a toll-free 24-hour residents’ line to assist with claims related to the incident, such as accommodation or transportation, and other supports, including access to counselling. The toll-free number is: 1-855-527-5002. A liability waiver is only required for injury claims and only once a satisfactory settlement has been reached. The standard release is now available on the company’s website. However, different release forms may be used to fit specific needs and situations.

As of Saturday morning, May 19, approximately 2,637 claims had been received. Good progress is being made in addressing the claims and in many cases, we have been able to issue payments by direct deposit, or via check with claims adjusters on site at a local hotel.

Environmental Overview

We continue to cooperate fully with environmental and regulatory agencies, such as the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), which are conducting independent responses to the incident.

Air

The company continues environmental monitoring at the refinery and around the community. There are 26 fixed monitors placed on the fence line, encircling the facility. Within the refinery, fixed monitors are being supplemented by mobile monitoring as hydrocarbon removal proceeds. Two mobile air monitoring teams are continuously collecting air quality data in the community.

In addition to monitoring conducted by the US EPA, the company’s environmental consultant has collected more than 16 million air quality readings in the community and at the refinery. This past week, air quality monitoring was conducted at approximately 5,700 individual locations in the community. None of the monitoring has shown concentrations above health-based thresholds. The results of this community monitoring program can be found on the Douglas County Department of Health and Human Services website.

To date, the EPA has not identified visible community soot deposition from the incident. The Douglas County Department of Health and Human Services has prepared an update regarding soil and gardening health information, which is also available on its website.

Water

Water collected during firefighting is being contained within the refinery’s storm water and fire water containment system. Water is now being treated within the wastewater treatment plant, which is an important step in our management of water retained on site. The company is regularly collecting surface water samples from the onsite storm water ponds, and at multiple locations along the length of Newton Creek. Booms will continue to be used as a precautionary measure to help contain any unexpected discharge. Water samples collected post-incident to date are comparable to baseline samples collected before the incident under normal refinery operating conditions, with the exception of trace amounts of chemical components found in firefighting foam collectively known as Perfluoroalkyl Sulfonate (PFAS). A PFAS treatment plan is in development with WDNR. It includes the use of specialized treatment units, which will arrive on site this weekend and should be operational by early next week. We will obtain WDNR approval prior to discharging water from the site.

Wildlife

Protections and deterrents for wildlife, including fencing, flagging and canine patrols, continue to be implemented as part of the response. An animal rehabilitation facility has been authorized by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and set up on site to treat wildlife impacted by the incident. Wildlife fatalities to date are one common grackle, one weasel and two frogs. Two oiled mallards and one goose are being treated and cleaned in the facility and are expected to be released in the coming weeks.

Debris

Collection of debris outside the fence line from the refinery incident is largely complete. Most of the debris was scattered to the southwest of the refinery and consisted predominantly of mineral wool and foam insulation, some of which was charred from the fire. Due to the material’s age, we tested representative material as it was collected to ensure it was not asbestos-containing material. Asbestos air monitoring results from the damaged areas of the refinery, at the facility fence line and within the community have not exceeded indoor air quality standards.

If you have debris on your property that you believe is associated with the refinery, please contact us at the toll-free number: 1-855-527-5002. We will continue to collect this material as it is identified.

Superior Refining Company LLC is the owner and operator of the refinery located in Superior Wisconsin, and does business under the licensed and registered trade name “Husky Energy”.

May 17, 2018: Stinson Avenue Open for Public Travel

Stinson Avenue reopened for public travel on Thursday, May 17. Drivers are asked to lower their speeds and refrain from stopping when travelling past the refinery due to continued work taking place to safely secure the site.

Residents using the road should be aware that there may occasionally be a need for temporary road closures to accommodate safe work on site. When that is necessary, updates will be provided here and through our Twitter account @HuskySuperior.

May 13, 2018: Community Update

Husky Energy continues to work with the community, government agencies and its employees to recover. Working in partnership with community leadership, municipal, state and federal agencies, we have made progress over the last two weeks towards the goal of securing and stabilizing the refinery. This progress report for community leadership is intended to keep the community apprised of the ongoing safety and environmental mitigation, recovery efforts and environmental monitoring results.

An average of 318 employees and contractors are now at the refinery site daily, and about 81 people are staffing the Emergency Operations Center on Hammond Avenue in Superior. An additional 45 workers are in the community, performing such tasks as air monitoring, claims processing and debris cleanup.

Electricity has been restored to a number of buildings at site, including the Z, R and H buildings, to enable the operation of the wastewater treatment plant. Several buildings have been inspected and cleared for reoccupation, including the lab, administration and the marketing terminal.

We continue to clear areas within and around the facility to facilitate cleanup and the next phases of work. This past week, hydrocarbon removal plans were developed and work began to deinventory various areas of the site. On Monday, all chlorine cylinders (15) were removed from site. Removal of gasoline from the benzene reduction unit began mid-week, following a pre-job safety review, and is now complete. Asphalt removal continues along roadways, staging and deinventory areas on site. Following regulatory approval, vapor combustion units (VCU) - which are mobile incinerator units used in the deinventory process - are now in operation at the facility.

A crane arrived on site on Saturday to begin set-up to secure the leaning tower. The crane was transported in a staged approach on 17 semi-trailers. Crane rigging is scheduled to begin Monday. Once debris is cleared, Stinson Avenue is expected to be reopened to traffic later next week.

The company has established a toll-free help line and will continue running newspaper advertisements to raise awareness of its availability and to encourage residents to call. The 24-hour residents’ line is available to assist with claims related to the incident, such as accommodation or transportation, and other supports, including access to counselling. The toll-free number is: 1-855-527-5002.

A liability waiver is only required for injury claims and only once a satisfactory settlement has been reached. The waiver is now available on the company’s website.

As of Saturday morning, May 12, approximately 2,233 claims had been received. Good progress is being made in addressing the claims and in many cases we have been able to issue payments by direct deposit, or via check with claims adjusters on site at a local hotel.

Environmental Overview

We continue to cooperate fully with environmental and regulatory agencies, such as the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), which are conducting independent responses to the incident. The US EPA has now demobilized from the EOC but will continue to receive air monitoring data from the company.

Air: 

This past week, the company and US EPA continued with environmental monitoring at the refinery and around the community. There are 26 fixed monitors placed on the facility fence line, encircling the facility. Two mobile air monitoring teams are continuously collecting data in the community. Within the refinery, fixed monitors are being supplemented by mobile monitoring as hydrocarbon removal proceeds.

In addition to US EPA’s monitoring, the company’s consultant has collected more than 9.5 million air quality readings in the community and at the refinery. This past week, the air quality monitoring was conducted at approximately 4,000 locations in the community. None of that monitoring showed concentrations above health-based thresholds. The results of this community monitoring program can be found on the Douglas County Department of Health and Human Services’ website.

The Douglas County Department of Health and Human Services has prepared an update regarding soil and gardening health information, which is available on its website.

Water: 

Water collected during firefighting is being contained within the refinery’s storm water and fire water containment system. Water is now circulating in the wastewater treatment plant, which is an important step in our management of water on site. The company and WDNR are regularly collecting surface water samples from the onsite storm water ponds used to contain this runoff, and at multiple locations along the length of Newton Creek. Booms will continue to be used as a precautionary measure to help contain any unexpected discharge.

Water samples collected post-incident, to date, are comparable to baseline samples collected before the incident under normal refinery operating conditions, with the exception of trace amounts of a chemical component found in firefighting foam collectively known as Perfluoroalkyl Sulfonate (PFAS). We are developing a treatment plan with WDNR, which may include the use of specialized treatment units, and will obtain WDNR’s approval before discharging water from the site.

Wildlife: 

Protections and deterrents for wildlife continue to be implemented as part of the response. One resident deer has been identified with oil staining on all four lower legs. It is being monitored and is observed to be doing well and feeding with its herd.

Debris:

Collection of debris outside the fence line from the refinery incident is largely complete. Most of the debris was scattered to the southwest of the refinery and consisted of mineral wool and foam insulation. Some of this material was charred from the fire. Due to the material’s age, we tested this material as we collected it to ensure it does not contain asbestos. Evaluation of the mineral wool and foam insulation found offsite to-date indicates that these are not considered asbestos containing materials. Air monitoring results from the refinery in the area of the damaged equipment have not exceeded indoor air quality standards for asbestos. We continue to collect this material on a request basis (via the toll-free number).

If you have debris on your property, please contact us via the toll-free number: 1-855-527-5002.

Superior Refining Company LLC is the owner and operator of the refinery located in Superior Wisconsin, and does business under the licensed and registered trade name “Husky Energy”.

May 7, 2018: Community Update

Husky Energy continues to work with the community, government agencies and its employees to recover.  Working in partnership with community leadership, municipal, state agencies and federal agencies, we have made progress over the last week towards the goal of securing and stabilizing the refinery.  This progress report for community leadership is intended to keep the community apprised of the ongoing safety and environmental mitigation, recovery efforts and the environmental monitoring results. 

Approximately 316 employees and contractors are now at the refinery site daily, and about 90 people are staffing the Emergency Operations Center on Hammond Avenue in Superior. An additional 37 workers are in the community, performing such tasks as air monitoring, claims processing and debris cleanup.

Electricity has been restored to a number of buildings at site, including the administration building and the wastewater treatment plant.

We are beginning to clear areas within the facility so we can facilitate cleanup and the next phases of work.  Work began Friday, May 4 to clean up debris on the nearby golf course and on areas adjacent to Stinson Avenue. Once debris is cleared, Stinson Avenue will be reopened to traffic. Also, beginning Saturday, May 5, debris is being removed from residential areas within the community. Crews are seeking homeowner permission before accessing properties.

Husky has established a toll free help line and will continue running newspaper and online advertisements and radio spots to raise awareness of its availability and to encourage residents to call.

The 24-hour residents’ line is available to assist with claims related to the incident, such as accommodations or transportation, and other supports, including access to counselling. The toll-free number is: 1-855-527-5002.   

A release would only be required for a bodily injury claim and only once a settlement is reached with the resident.    No release for other claims.

As of Saturday morning, May 5, approximately 1,315 claims had been received. Good progress is being made in addressing the claims and in many cases, we have been able to issue payments by direct deposit, or via check with claims adjusters on site at a local hotel.

Environmental Overview

Environmental and regulatory agencies were immediately notified of the incident and conducted independent responses. Husky continues to cooperate fully with the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR).

Air: 

The fire resulted in a significant smoke and soot plume that moved downwind from the refinery in a southwest direction.  Based on actual confirmatory visual and photographic evidence collected from within and surrounding the identified plume migration boundary, there has been no evidence of visible soot deposition related to the incident.   Douglas County Department of Health and Human Services has prepared an update regarding soil and gardening health information (attached).

Husky and US EPA implemented environmental monitoring immediately following the incident and an evacuation was ordered as a precautionary measure.  In addition to US EPA’s monitoring, Husky has collected over 1.5 million records on the air quality in the community and refinery.   None of that monitoring showed any elevated levels of emissions above health-based thresholds. The air quality monitoring was conducted at over 3,100 locations in the community.  In addition, there are 15 fixed monitors placed on the facility fence line, encircling the facility. The results of this community monitoring program can be found on the Douglas County Department of Health and Human Services’ website.

Water: 

Water collected during firefighting is being contained within the refinery’s storm water and fire water containment system.  Water is now circulating in the wastewater treatment plant, which is an important step in our management of water on site.  Husky and WDNR are regularly collecting surface water samples from the onsite storm water ponds used to contain this runoff, and at multiple locations along the length of Newton Creek down to Hog Island Inlet.  Water samples collected post incident to date are comparable to baseline samples pre-incident under normal refinery operating conditions, with the exception of trace amounts of Perfluoroalkyl Sulfonate (PFAS) – a chemical component found in firefighting foam.  The WDNR has been notified. A treatment strategy for the impounded water on site is being prepared.

Wildlife: 

Protections and deterrents for wildlife have been implemented as part of the facility response.  To date there are two known impacts.  One resident deer has been identified with oil staining on all four lower legs and one deceased common grackle has been found.  The deer is being monitored. A decision has been made not to tranquilize the deer to remove the oil as it is not showing negative impacts. There has been no observed impact to fish or other aquatic life in the onsite storm water ponds or Newton Creek as a result of the incident. Water monitoring continues.

Debris:

Debris from the refinery scattered to areas outside the refinery and towards the southwest.  Most of the material consists of mineral wool and foam insulation, and may be charred from the fire.  Due to the material’s age, we are in the process of testing the material as we collect it to ensure it does not contain asbestos. Evaluation to date of the mineral wool and foam insulation found offsite determined these are not considered asbestos containing materials.  Air monitoring results from the refinery in the area of the damaged equipment have not exceeded indoor air quality standards for asbestos. Husky has been and continues to collect this material on a systematic and request basis (via the toll free number).   

If you have debris on your property, please contact Husky via the toll free number: 1-855-527-5002. 

Superior Refining Company LLC is the owner and operator of the refinery located in Superior Wisconsin, and does business under the licensed and registered trade name “Husky Energy”.

May 2, 2018: Advisory on Incident Material

Material may have left the perimeter of the Refinery during the incident. This material is important to the ongoing investigation. If you find material related to last week's incident, please leave it where it is and call our help line at 1-855-527-5002 to report its location. We will send someone to retrieve it.

Residents Needing Assistance

Our 24-hour line is available to assist with claims related to the incident, such as accommodation or transportation, as well as other supports, including access to counselling.

Call: 1-855-527-5002

Email: HuskySuperior@huskyenergy.com

Media Inquiries

Kim Guttormson, Media & Issues
403-298-7088


1-855-527-5002