82.7 F
Charlotte Amalie
Monday, May 27, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesBig Cleanup Ahead for Hovensa Following Oil Cloud Spurt

Big Cleanup Ahead for Hovensa Following Oil Cloud Spurt

April 6, 2006 — An oil cloud spurted from the Hovensa oil refinery Thursday morning, blackening cars and machinery, officials said.
A pressure relief valve at the vacuum distillation unit on the refinery's east side opened at 7:30 a.m., launching an unknown amount of oil into the atmosphere and spraying the compound, said Alex Moorhead, executive vice president of Hovensa.
Moorhead said no one was injured in the incident and that an air quality survey found the area in compliance with federal standards.
The valve is meant to open and release excess pressure that could damage the refinery's machinery, he said.
He said officials were investigating to find out why it opened Thursday.
None of the oil contaminated the Caribbean sea adjacent the refinery on the south coast of the island of St. Croix, he added.
Preliminary results confirm the oil spray was limited to land inside the Hovensa complex, said Aaron Hutchins, a spokesman for the Department of Planning and Natural Resources.
"They have a big cleanup job. It was kind of a mess," he said.
DPNR crews were checking for possible contamination in neighborhoods around the refinery and said air quality monitoring would continue throughout the evening.
Hovensa, a joint venture of New York-based Amerada Hess Corp. and Venezuela's state oil company, processes about half a million barrels of crude oil per day.
Back Talk

Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.