"Louisiana Refineries Averaged 10 Upsets a Week-Study"

"HOUSTON -- Louisiana's 17 refineries averaged 10 upsets a week between 2005 and 2009, according to a study of emission reports by the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, an environmentalist coalition, and the United Steelworkers union.

The study, released on Monday, also found 27 percent of excess air emissions due to upsets at Louisiana refineries came during bad weather between 2005 and 2009, when the state was lashed by hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Gustav.

The study is part of an initiative by the Steelworkers, representing a majority of U.S. refinery workers, and environmental groups in Louisiana to improve reliability at refineries, reduce accidents and pollution.

'This is stuff where we could be suing them in court, but we're trying to work with them,' said Louisiana Bucket Brigade director Anne Rolfes.

The upsets between 2005 and 2009 released 21.8 million pounds of excess pollution into the atmosphere, according to the study."

Erwin Seba reports for Reuters December 13, 2010.

Source: Reuters, 12/14/2010