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Duluth City Council adopts resolution to take a closer look at hydrogen fluoride at Husky Refinery

DULUTH, Minn. (KBJR) – The Husky refinery explosion happened a little over a year ago in Superior. It was center stage Monday night at Duluth city hall.

The council adopted a resolution asking the EPA to take a closer look at the use of hydrogen fluoride, a chemical stored at the superior refinery, that could have made the explosion deadly.

After the Husky explosion it was revealed that fire came close to a tank of hydrogen fluoride an extremely dangerous chemical.

After this revelation a lot of people across the Twin Ports called on Husky to stop using the chemical.

But, Husky has indicated it plans to keep it there for now, as it’s a very difficult and expensive process to do away with it.

Mayor Larson asked the Duluth City Council to support a non-binding resolution that would ask the EPA to take a closer look at the use of hydrogen fluoride at refineries around the country.

Ginger Juel from Twin Ports Action Alliance was there and supported the resolution saying,”A worse case scenario is the full tank vaporizes in ten minuets, to become a ground hugging death cloud and that can travel up to 22 miles killing and injuring everything in it’s path that includes Duluth.”

The general consensus from the council was to support the resolution, but councilor Arik Foresman offered an amendment to clarify the importance of safety and commerce.

“The Refinery has a 22 and a half million dollar economic impact regionally it also provides a substantial tax base for local governments across the bridge and over 200 families depend on employment there.” Foresman stated.

That amendment passed 7-1 with councilor Westurlund opposing. The resolution as a whole passed unanimously.

Superior’s Mayor Jim Paine also commented on the Duluth meeting.

In a statement he said, “I support Mayor Larson’s resolution and continue to urge the Husky refinery to implement safer alternatives to Hydrogen Fluoride. I join her in the call for regulatory agencies to study and regulate this dangerous chemical in our community.”

It is important to remember that this is a resolution for an agency the city has no jurisdiction over. The council can not force the EPA to make any changes.

myfox47staff

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