Aging Equipment, Repeated Safety Violations Put Refinery Workers At Risk, Say Critics

Industry can stall penalties and fixes despite rash of fires and explosions.

ByABC News
March 19, 2010, 1:41 PM

March 1, 2011 — -- The nation's refineries are plagued by recurring equipment failures and sometimes-fatal fires, explosions and chemical releases that in many cases could have been prevented, an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity has found.

The investigation has implications for workers at refineries and people who live near them. As reported in a joint ABC News/Center for Public Integrity investigation, industry and government insiders are particularly anxious about the potential for mishaps that involve a highly toxic chemical known as hydrofluoric acid.