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St. Croix Oil Refinery is a Ticking Time Bomb With Potential For ‘Explosions’ and ‘Catastrophic’ Gas Releases, Damning EPA Inspection Finds


by Ernice Gilbert (VI Consortium) The Environmental Protection Agency has released its findings of an inspection of the Port Hamilton Refining and Transportation refinery on St. Croix, formerly Limetree Bay Refinery, which was initiated following a smoldering coke incident in August.

The EPA’s findings paint a picture of a facility whose surfeit of issues caused by a lack of maintenance could lead to disastrous outcomes, including what the federal agency described as potential for “explosions” and “catastrophic release” of harmful gases.

The EPA said PHRT could not provide a current hazard assessment for the processes that presently contain extremely hazardous substances at the refinery. “A hazard identification and review, including process configuration, maintenance, hazard recognition, and the effectiveness of emergency shutdown and response procedures, has not been performed by PHRT,” the EPA said, with the last process hazard analysis for the refinery being performed in 2019-2020 by former owners Limetree Bay.

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