Fluoride Action Network

Marathon leak prompts brief shelter-in-place order

Source: The Daily News (Galveston) | March 27th, 2011
Location: United States, Texas
Industry type: Oil Refineries

TEXAS CITY — The east side of the city was under a shelter-in-place order because of a leak of butane that contains small amounts of hydrofluoric acid at Marathon’s Texas City refinery, emergency management officials confirmed. The shelter-in-place order was lifted at 6 p.m. about an hour after it was issued.

The isolated order covered the area east of 21st Street from North Loop 197 to Bay Street, officials said.

The leak was reported at about 4:45 p.m., Texas City Homeland Security Coordinator Bruce Clawson said.

A Marathon spokeswoman said the hydrofluoric acid was a small amount within butane that is leaking from one of the refinery’s process towers. Crews isolated the leak, Marathon spokeswoman Angelia Grace said.

There were no reports of injuries related to the incident, Grace said.

Clawson activated the city’s emergency sirens and sent an alert through the city’s Blackboard Connect phone and email notification system.

There was not an evacuation order for any part of the city.

Sunday’s alert was the second alert because of a leak at the Marathon refinery since January. Initially thought to be hydrogen gas, an isobutene leak prompted an evacuation of houses in the immediate vicinity of the refinery two months ago.

Clawson called Sunday’s incident “minor.”