Louisiana refineries are required to report the number of accidents that occurred throughout
the course of the year. While some safety experts caution that the numbers
may be artificially low because the refineries are self-reporting, the
numbers are alarming nonetheless.
The Louisiana Bucket Brigade, an organization that promotes safety and
environmental protections, reviews the accident reports for all Louisiana
refineries each year and combines them in a single report to provide a
collective picture of all Louisiana refinery accidents.
Key Findings From The Refinery Accident Report
While partial data is available for 2014, the most recent report showing
complete data is in 2013.
Below are some key findings from the 19 active oil and chemical refineries
- A total of 331 accidents were reported throughout the year – an average
of more than 6 per week
- The refinery accidents produced over 2 million pounds and 62,000 gallons
of air pollution
- The ExxonMobil Refinery in Baton Rouge, Chalmette Refinery in Chalmette,
and Marathon Refinery in Garyville all reported 36 accidents – more
than any other refinery in Louisiana
- Chalmette Refining has produced more air pollution since 2005 (7,180,097
pounds and 12,948,460 gallons) than any other refinery
- 11 refineries reported 12 or more accidents in 2013 – more than 1 per month
- 7 refineries reported at least 20 accidents in 2013
- While 2 refineries only reported a single incident, no Louisiana refinery
had 0 accidents throughout the entire year
Many of these accidents cause immediate injury to workers at the refinery,
but the effects of chemical exposure on workers and the surrounding communities
goes largely unnoticed. Most of the time, local residents are not even
informed of an accident until it is too late.
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