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benzene 247 articles

Refinery to pay nearly $11 million to settle Clean Air Act violations

Wood River Refinery in Roxana, Illinois, will spend just shy of $11 million to settle a federal lawsuit accusing the company of violating the Clean Air Act by emitting an excessive amount of dangerous chemicals. The lawsuit was brought by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Justice, and the Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Wood River Refinery, located on the Mississippi River about 15 miles northeast of St. Louis, is owned by Phillips 66 and Cenovus Energy and is operated by WRB Refining LP. In 2009, the refinery made operation changes that resulted in more than a dozen ... Read More

Benzene lawsuit names nearly two dozen companies

Travis Bergeron began working for a chemical company in Port Arthur, Texas more than 50 years ago, staying on the job for more than a decade. Now he claims the work gave him a deadly disease and he wants to hold accountable the companies that made him sick. Bergeron claims that while working for Sinclair Koppers from 1967 to 1978, he was exposed to benzene, a toxic volatile, flammable liquid chemical byproduct of coal distillation that is used as an industrial solvent in various products. Benzene exposure is linked to blood cancers including leukemia. Bergeron was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, ... Read More

Companies seek new trial date for benzene lawsuit

Chevron USA, Shell Oil, Motiva Enterprises and Goodyear Tire filed a motion in the Jefferson County District Court to move a case off the September 2018 trial docket and place it on the September 2019 docket. The case in which the companies are named involves claims that they knowingly exposed a worker to toxic benzene, which he alleges caused him to suffer from a serious medical condition. Louis Gest filed his complaint on Sept. 9, 2016, and a trial date was set for September 2018. Earlier this month, the companies said they have conducted preliminary discovery and wanted to push ... Read More

Texas man sues 21 companies alleging benzene exposure

A Texas man is suing 21 companies claiming that he was exposed to cancer-causing benzene while working with a chemicals and materials company in Port Arthur, Texas, which he says caused him to develop multiple myeloma. The case was filed on behalf of Ronald Smith, who was employed with Sinclair Koppers (sued as Atlantic Richfield) from 1967 to 1998. He claims he was exposed to benzene from the mid 1960s through the late 1970s. He says the companies knew that emissions of the carcinogenic chemical were released into the ambient air exposing workers to benzene risks. Yet they failed to ... Read More

EPA Proposes Benzene Cleanup Plan For Southern NJ Superfund Site

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is targeting a New Jersey Superfund site contaminated for decades with benzene and industrial toxins for cleanup, but environmental groups criticize the government’s proposed plan as a shortsighted failure. The land in question sits on 350 acres near the banks of the Delaware River in Gloucester County. Delaware-based Hercules Inc., a chemical and munitions manufacturing company, bought the land from DuPont in 1952 and continued to use it as a dump for lead and toxic waste until it closed in 2010. EPA testing found the site to be predominantly contaminated with benzene, a known carcinogen, and other volatile organic ... Read More

Veterans, families exposed to toxic chemicals at Michigan Air Force base

Veterans and their families who lived at Wurtsmith Air Force Base in northern Michigan may have found the cause for their cancer and other chronic illnesses – drinking water contaminated with toxic chemicals, according to a report compiled by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). ATSDR officials said the culprit is chemicals like the carcinogen benzene used in solvents and grease that eventually leached into the ground around Oscoda where the B52 bomber base was located. As a result, children and adults who used the water could be at risk for “harmful non-cancer effects” including heart malformations, ... Read More

Residents sue SoCal Gas for cancer risk after massive gas leak

More than 9,000 residents are pushing a class action lawsuit against Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) asking for up to $2.5 billion in damages over a massive gas leak that released cancer-causing benzene into the environment when 100,000 metric tons of methane spewed out of a pressurized gas field in the Aliso Canyon three years ago. Many residents said they became ill after the gas leak. Some were forced out of their homes. At issue is how much benzene was released during the gas leak. A SoCalGas engineer claims it was only trace amounts. The company also contends that there “is ... Read More

PA man says benzene exposure at US Steel caused his leukemia

A Pennsylvania pipefitter is suing U.S. Steel’s Clairton Works claiming that while working at the facility for 12 years he was routinely exposed to benzene and benzene-containing products, which contributed to his leukemia. John F. Verlich filed the lawsuit in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas against the United States Steel Corporation of Pittsburgh. Verlich says he worked at the coke manufacturing plant from 1971 to 1983. Benzene results from the manufacturing of coke. Terlich claims the volatile chemical was in valves, pumps and pipelines and stored in barrels and tanks throughout the plant. He claims he was exposed ... Read More

Insurance adjusters face risks even after fire has been extinguished

Property tax adjusters assigned a fire loss can be exposed to a number of toxic substances even after the fire has gone out, according to Property Casualty 360, a national underwriter company. Adjusters are often on the scene within hours of a fire being extinguished. They are charged with activities such as meeting with the insurer, taking photos of the damage, sketching the building layout, writing a repair estimate, and compiling an inventory of lost or damaged property. This work can take hours or even days on the burn site to complete. As these insurance professionals step over the char ... Read More

SoCalGas To Pay $120 Million For Aliso Canyon Blowout Costs

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has agreed to pay nearly $120 million to cover costs resulting from its months-long Aliso Canyon methane gas blowout that forced thousands of residents to abandon their homes. The SoCalGas leak started on Oct. 23, 2015, and continued to blast methane gas from the Aliso Canyon well until Feb. 18, 2016. The blowout was the largest single release of methane in U.S. history, according to the Associated Press. The blowout prompted health complaints from residents in and around Porter Ranch, a community in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley region, and stoked concerns of benzene, a ... Read More