I have found another fire and explosion in an oil re-refinery this time in West Lake, West Ridge, Erie USA on January 30th 2014. Once again this is the same oil re refinery as Hydrodec, this time owned by a company ironically named ‘Safety Kleen’
Explosion and Fire Injure Safety Kleen Worker
Posted: Jan 30, 2014 9:30 PM GSTUpdated: Feb 06, 2014 9:30 PM GST
Officials say the shed held 55 gallon drums filled with solvent which were just feet away from 12,000 gallon tanks filled with oil.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration who was on scene investigating, a Safety-Kleen employee was warming a frozen pipe with a portable heater.
That employee was severely burned, taken to UPMC Hamot, and then later transported to a Pittsburgh hospital.
Hazmat from Millcreek and the county responded because the type of materials at Safety-Kleen.
Part of Pittsburgh Avenue and the railroad tracks were closed this morning following the fire.
They got it knocked down in under 40 minutes.
They used foam to get it under control.
Portland oil refinery faces massive fines
UPDATED: Jun 20, 2014, 5:57am
Digital Managing Editor-
Portland Business Journal
A Portland oil refinery must properly dispose of PCB-contaminated oil or pay a federal penalty.
Oil Re-Refining Company, or ORRCO, received the Environmental Protection Agency’s order this week. ORRCo must “expedite disposal of the PCB waste to protect human health and the environment.”ORRCO collects and transports used oil to reprocessing facilities that it owns in Klamath Falls, Portland, and Goshen, as well as Spokane, Wash.
According to EPA, ORRCO in 2010 collected, transported, stored, and processed more than 150,000 gallons of used oil containing PCBs and hazardous waste in violation of federal requirements.
ORRCO continues to store a significant amount of PCB-contaminated oil in storage tanks at its Portland and Klamath Falls facilities. Under the order, ORRCO must incinerate 150,000 gallons of oil, with more than 2 parts per million PCBs, at an approved incinerator, by October 2016.
ORRCO faces a $450,000 penalty if it doesn’t comply.
PCBs, short-hand for polychlorinated biphenyls, are synthetic chemicals that were banned in the U.S. in 1979. They’re still found in several products and materials produced before the 1979 ban, including transformers and other electrical equipment and oil used in motors and hydraulic systems.
The chemicals don’t easily break down and can remain for decades in air, water and soil. They can also accumulate in plants and food, as well as small organisms and fish.
Those exposed to PCBs face high risks of cancer and other health effects.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered Portland-based Oil Re-Refining Company to dispose of 150,000 gallons of PCB-contaminated oil or face a $450,000 penalty.
PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, are carcinogenic chemicals that were banned in the U.S. in 1979, but they’re still found in the environment and old electrical equipment, used oil and hydraulic systems.
The Portland oil recycling company collects used hydraulic and motor oil from businesses throughout the Northwest and turns it into new oil products, and according to ORRCO company president Bill Briggs, it occasionally it comes across used oil that contains PCBs.
But in 2010, Briggs said, two contaminated loads carried in 9,000-gallon trucks became about 650,000 gallons of contaminated oil before the PCBs were discovered.
“PCB looks like used oil and smells like used oil,” he said. “You don’t know the difference until you do a lab test.”
According to EPA spokeswoman Suzanne Skadowski, ORRCO reported having contaminated oil in 2010. The EPA did an inspection and found the company in violation of the Toxic Substances Control Act, which prohibits diluting, blending or mixing PCBs with other liquids.
“It sounds like it was a series of mistakes in checking and testing the oil they collect,” said Skadowski. “If you get some and put it in a big batch of oil, suddenly you have a lot of it.”
Briggs said the PCBs in the hydraulic oil collected from Pacific Recycling in Eugene and Burly Seal Products of Tooele, Utah, was mixed with oil from other locations at the ORRCO facilities in Portland, Klamath Falls and Utah. The trucks themselves were contaminating the loads of oil they collected for three weeks, he said.
“It was all considered contaminated,” he said. “I had to dispose of it. I lost my inventory, I laid off 43 people. I’m out $8 million.”
ORRCO reported the problem to the EPA and agreed to dispose of the contaminated oil, but it was too expensive to do all the disposal at once.
“They had so much oil, their problem was going to be how to deal with it and not go out of business,” Skadowski said. “This settlement says that as they can afford it, they will get that oil into a proper disposal facility.”
Briggs said he’s been paying to have the oil incinerated in 30,000-gallon batches every other month. Now there is about 150,000 gallons of contaminated oil left.
The EPA negotiated a settlement with the company that requires all 150,000 gallons to be incinerated by October 2016 to avoid the crippling fine.
ORRCO is suing the two companies it blames for the contamination.b