Print Friendly and PDF
WATCH: How Marathon Petroleum and one Texas city show the potential for a chemical communication crisis

WATCH: How Marathon Petroleum and one Texas city show the potential for a chemical communication crisis

Marathon in Texas City has repeatedly violated the Clean Air Act and had three emergencies in the span of a six month period.

1 min read
HOUSTON — On June 27 Texas City residents received a notice to shelter in place due to a leak of sulfur dioxide from the Marathon Galveston Bay Refinery.

In order to receive the alert, residents had to preregister for the city’s opt-in emergency alert system or check the social media of local government agencies. With these limitations, it’s unlikely that everyone received the message in time. Those that don’t speak English often have to rely on direct translations from the social platform, or hope the alert service translates correctly.

The video above documents the sulfur dioxide leak, as well as a chemical fire in May that resulted in a death and an electrocution death in February.

Marathon has a long history in Texas City. The records used to evaluate violations issued from the Environmental Protection Agency or Texas Commision on Environmental Quality in Texas City can be found here. Violations related to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, for Marathon’s Galveston Bay Refinery can be found here.

The timeline below provides more details about each individual event.

About the author(s):

Cami Ferrell

Cami Ferrell is a bilingual video reporter for Environmental Health Sciences based in Houston, Texas. Ferrell primarily reports on the petrochemical buildout in the Texas Gulf Coast.

Become a donor
Today's top news
From our newsroom

LISTEN: How Western media could better cover climate change in the Middle East

“The whole media of the Western countries don’t do justice to some of the works being done here.”

Everyone is likely overexposed to BPA

If you're using plastic, you're likely above acceptable health safety levels.

Opinion: The global food system is failing small-scale farmers — here’s how to fix it

Maybe we don’t need Jamaican coffee in the middle of US winter.

LISTEN: Bruce Lanphear on how we’re failing to protect people from pesticides

Lanphear recently resigned as the co-chair of the Health Canada scientific advisory committee on pest control products.

How does cannabis impact developing brains?

As states increasingly legalize or decriminalize marijuana, some experts warn that early exposure may be linked to mental health problems later in life.