Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) began the risky process of removing approximately 30,000 barrels of modified hydrofluoric acid (HF) from its fire-damaged refinery, according to an article from Claims Journal. After fire broke out at the plant on June 21, workers reportedly activated an emergency system that dumped the highly toxic chemical into a protective vessel before it could release a dangerous fog over the city.
The Philadelphia Fire Department is one of several city, state and federal agencies that will help monitor the neutralization process, according to the article. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will reportedly also install monitors at the site to detect any HF release. The undertaking, including the possible transfer of materials away from the area by truck, is considered extremely dangerous and has rarely, if ever, been performed under similar circumstances. According to Claims Journal, PES recently entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the second time in less than two years, citing business interruption from the fire.
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