Dec. 5, 2002 – People with allergies and respiratory ailments are advised to avoid the Estate Profit and Clifton Hill areas for the moment, due to the release of hydrocarbons into the air from the Hovensa refinery, a Planning and Natural Resources Department official said on Thursday.
Hollis Griffin, head of the department's Environmental Enforcement Division, said: "There is a strong, pungent odor in the area."
Griffin said the release happened around noon on Thursday. He said it occurred when a piece of machinery used in the processing of crude oil malfunctioned. "There was an upset in the crude unit," he said, providing the technical language for the problem.
Such problems are infrequent, Griffin said, but do occasionally happen. He said there had been no reports of illness related to the release.
Alexander A. Moorhead, Hovensa vice president for government affairs and community relations, could not be reached for comment.
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