Suncor polluted #SandCreek with excessive levels of #benzene after Christmas Eve fire — The #Denver Post

Suncor refinery Commerce City. Photo credit: Allen Best/Big Pivots

Click the link to read the article on The Denver Post website (Noelle Phillips). Here’s an excerpt:

Suncor filed a notice with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to notify the state of the benzene discharge into Sand Creek, reporting levels that were 40% to 80% above permitted allowances, according to a letter sent Friday [January 20, 2023] to the department’s Water Quality Protection Section. During a Dec. 24 fire at Suncor’s Plant 1, which refines oil into gasoline and other fuels, benzene containing hydrocarbon entered the refinery’s stormwater system, according to the letter. Testing found benzene levels at 7 micrograms per liter on Jan. 4 and 9 micrograms per liter on Jan. 5, the letter said. The refinery’s permit allows a daily maximum of 5 micrograms per liter to be discharged into Sand Creek. The excess benzene was first reported by Colorado Public Radio

After discovering elevated benzene concentrations in the creek next to its refinery, Suncor isolated the affected water so it could be treated to reduce the chemical to below permitted levels, the letter said. Testing on Jan. 6 showed benzene concentrations at 1 microgram per liter. Loa Esquilin Garcia, a Suncor spokeswoman, said Tuesday that she would not be able to answer The Denver Post’s questions about the spill, including what the company is doing to prevent it from happening again, until the end of business on Wednesday.

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