Exxon discloses additional chemical released during fire

Exxon releases new details about additional chemical released during recent large fire

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - In new filings with the state, Exxon disclosed Tuesday, Feb. 18 that an additional chemical, sulfuric acid, was involved in the recent large fire at its facility in north Baton Rouge on Feb. 11.

The required filing, known as the “seven-day report” detailed to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) which chemicals were involved incident.

Exxon filed an initial report within hours of the fire about which chemicals it suspected were involved in the large blaze.

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In that initial report, Exxon reported it believed benzene and butadiene had been released at levels exceeding allowable limits. The updated “7-day report” disclosed that sulfuric acid was also released at levels above allowable amounts. Exxon also said in the “7-day report” that the amounts of benzene and butadiene it initially reported as being involved actually turned out to be lower.

However, those two chemicals still were higher than the allowable amount. For example, the amount of butadiene released during the incident was estimated at 2,681 pounds, well above the 10-pound allowable limit.

Exxon said the amount of hydrogen sulfide released during the fire turned out to be within the allowable limit, despite initial estimates.

Exxon says the Baton Rouge Fire Department (BRFD) sampled the air quality outside the plant and did not detect any dangerous levels.

That air monitoring did not start until 55 minutes after the fire broke out, Exxon’s report says.

A timeline of the events the night of the fire on Feb. 11 can be found by clicking the link here.

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