Suncor breakdown emitted hydrogen sulfide; firm says ranges remained “acceptable”


A boiler breakdown at Suncor Vitality’s oil refinery north of Denver on Thursday led to elevated emissions of hydrogen sulfide, a doubtlessly lethal fuel, and different pollution, and an Adams County commissioner is asking Suncor to put in a full-time air monitoring system to guard folks in surrounding areas.
Colorado Division of Public Well being and Surroundings officers who concern Suncor’s working permits additionally
expressed concern following the newest gear failures on the refinery, situated alongside Sand Creek simply north of Denver in Commerce Metropolis.
Suncor officers mentioned the concentrations of hydrogen sulfide emitted Thursday had been “acceptable” and that firm crews used transportable gas-monitoring units as a part of their emergency response.
Suncor operators of the refinery repeatedly have had issues resulting in elevated air and groundwater air pollution in north Denver and Commerce Metropolis. On Friday, Adams County Commissioner Steve O’Dorisio requested in an e-mail to Suncor officers that the corporate set up a “Canary” system that may always monitor air pollution
with readings accessible to the general public as a part of the corporate’s “social license” to function in Colorado.
“At this level,” O’Dorisio wrote within the request, shared with The Denver Publish, “it’s affordable for Suncor to fund the implementation of a fulltime air high quality monitoring system within the surrounding areas that’s operated by a third-party who makes information accessible instantly to the general public and authorities regulators. … Such an effort funded by Suncor may go an extended option to promote transparency and accountability, in addition to construct belief in the neighborhood.”
Suncor officers didn’t deal with O’Dorisio’s request in a response to him.
“We’re conducting air monitoring in neighboring communities and can proceed to take action till our items are again on-line,” Suncor spokeswoman Lisha Burnett mentioned in an e-mail to him that was shared with The Publish. “The monitoring outcomes point out that air high quality within the neighborhoods surrounding the refinery had been inside acceptable ranges.”
Burnett didn’t specify what she meant by acceptable.
“Our testing includes taking transportable fuel detection meters into the group to observe for concentrations of sulfur dioxide (SO2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), hydrocarbon vapors, unstable natural compounds (VOCs) and oxygen. Whereas conducting this monitoring, we’re additionally in search of odors and visual impacts that might be associated to our operations,” the corporate mentioned in a press release. “We all know the incident resulted in exceedances for carbon monoxide, opacity and hydrogen sulfide.”
CDPHE spokesman Andrew Naked despatched a press release to The Publish late Thursday in regards to the incident: “We’re all the time involved when there are emissions exceedances on the Suncor refinery. Residents residing close to the refinery have the identical proper to scrub air as all different Coloradans.
“Our record-setting settlement with Suncor earlier this 12 months accommodates quite a few provisions that we’re assured will make the refinery a extra compliant facility, and emissions exceedances on the facility are down in 2020 in comparison with 2019,” the assertion continued. “Suncor should do higher, and we’ll proceed to train sturdy oversight on the refinery.”
In accordance with CDPHE officers, the boilers that malfunctioned Thursday on the refinery had been again up and working, however it was unclear whether or not Suncor has resumed processing fossil fuels.


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