Report: New Mexico refinery emitting high levels of chemical

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An oil refinery in southeast New Mexico is one of 10 facilities in the country releasing high levels of the cancer-causing chemical benzene, a report said.
The Holly Frontier Navajo oil refinery in Artesia is emitting benzene levels four times the Environmental Protection Agency’s action level, the Albuquerque Journal reported Thursday.
Refineries with chemical levels above the federal action level are not violating federal law, but must take action to reduce the pollution, officials said.
“These results highlight refineries that need to do a better job of installing pollution controls and implementing safer workplace practices to reduce the leakage of this cancer-causing pollutant into local communities,” said Eric Schaeffer, executive director of the Environmental Integrity Project, an advocacy organization for environmental regulations.
More than 3,000 people live within a mile of the refinery, officials said.
“Businesses are located directly across the road from the fenceline, and Roselawn Elementary School is located just 0.2 miles directly west of the highest reading monitor,” the report said.
Benzene is found in crude oil and used to manufacture plastics and pesticides, officials said. Full credits Associated Press.

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