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McCollum Leads Letter Requesting Public Forum in Regard to Husky Superior Refinery Incident

September 26, 2018
Press Release

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL—Minn.), Ranking Member of the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, which has oversight responsibility for the United States Chemical and Hazard Investigation Board, is leading a letter to request an interim public meeting for communities affected by the Husky Superior Refinery explosions earlier this year.  Her cosigners on the letter include Senator Tammy Baldwin (D—WI.) Representative Rick Nolan (DFL—Minn.), Senator Amy Klobuchar (DFL—Minn.) and Senator Tina Smith (DFL—Minn.).

On April 26, 2018, The Husky Superior Refinery was severely damaged in a catastrophic explosion that has raised serious questions about the safety of U.S. refineries using hydrogen fluoride (HF), and the need for safety improvements in these facilities. The accident involved numerous explosions and fires, leading to a 10-mile evacuation zone to the South and 3-mile evacuation zones to the East and West.

The Board is currently investigating this incident, and Rep. McCollum and her colleagues are requesting a full public meeting to allow input from refinery communities about the scope of the Board’s investigation. This meeting would also provide an opportunity for public dialogue explaining the Board’s stated grave concerns about the use of HF in urban oil refineries.

“Hydrogen fluoride poses a great public risk to the Twin Ports metropolitan area,” Rep. McCollum said in the letter. “Workers, residents, and local officials deserve the opportunity to participate in an interim public meeting to provide input into the Husky Refinery investigatory process.”

“We urge you to engage the local community to share the Board’s interim findings regarding the Husky Superior Refinery incident and to discuss any systemic concerns that the Board has with the use of HF in the petrochemical industry.”

A PDF copy of Congresswoman McCollum’s letter is available here