Stir at the Marathon Petroleum Refinery in Mandan

Mandan's Petroleum Refinery responded to a potential "hydrofluoric acid release."  Reports came in early this morning; nearby residents reported hearing loud bangs. Some said there even seemed to be an evacuation. I'm still working on confirming some of these details, but I did reach out to Melissa Ory, a spokesperson for Marathon’s Mandan Refinery; she issued the following statement:

"At approximately 8 a.m. CDT, the Mandan Refinery responded to a potential hydrofluoric acid release in the Alkylation Unit. Safety response systems were activated to control the release. At this time, the release has been isolated and there is no indication of community impact," said Ory.

She continued...

"...As a precautionary measure, community air monitoring has been deployed. All employees and contractors have been accounted for, and no injuries have been reported. All appropriate regulatory notifications have been made," said Ory.

She also explained that they will be looking into the cause of the incident.

"...A full investigation will be conducted to determine the cause of the incident. The top priorities at this time are to ensure the safety of responders, the community and to limit environmental impact," said Ory.

What's "Hydrofluoric Acid"?

If you're wondering what hydrofluoric acid is, according to the CDC website, it's a chemical compound containing fluoride. It's used in many things such as, gasoline, plastic, and aluminum. It exists as either a gas or liquid, and coming in physical contact with the substance can cause significant burns, while breathing it in can cause damage to lung tissue.

 

Update:

Melissa Ory reached back out to me to answer a few additional questions.

Loud Noises?

Some residents reported hearing loud bangs/noises. Ory said residents may have initially heard their alarm system going off. It's part of their notification system to employees.

 

How much Hydrofluoric acid leaked?

Ory said quantity details are not known at this time, but they are working to determine that. Once discovered, they plan to report that to the proper authorities.

Has the leak been fully stopped?

Yes.

Was there a full-scale evacuation?

Ory said only non-essential personnel were evacuated. This was done as a precautionaryy measure. Employee returned shortly after the leak was stopped. Ory says there are no known safety concerns.

 


 

 

 

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