ConocoPhillips owns the oil refinery in Trainer, Pennsylvania. The plant has a daily output of 180,000 barrels of crude oil. Other than a six week period in 2006 when the plant was shut down for repairs, the facility is open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. This facility stores a chemical that has been referred to by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as one of the stronger types of acid known to mankind.
The EPA has taken active notice of the Trainer plant. Along with several other ConocoPhillips refineries, the Trainer facility was cited for allowing an excessive level of hazardous emissions escape from their pipes. These emissions cause a great deal of pollution and are known to contaminate soil and bodies of water. EPA agents investigated the plant, and made a list of necessary repairs and upgrades that would have to be done at the owner's expense. In addition, ConocoPhillips was ordered to pay a sum of $400,000 to the Local Emergency Planning Committee. This money was to be used for the purchase of improved radio systems for the city, as well as a the founding of a radio channel that would be used specifically for emergency broadcasting purposes.
Trainer, PA's refinery has faced another serious issue throughout its history. Much like most other refineries throughout the United States, the facility used various products within the plant that were made out of asbestos. At one time asbestos was looked upon as an essential ingredient for construction and insulation related products, and it was used in mass quantities. One of the primary reasons for this was the material was able to stand up to very hot temperatures, such as those produced by any refinery.
As well as the asbestos products did within the refinery, they held a sinister secret that wasn't observed for many years. In the end it turned out that asbestos is an extremely toxic material. The basic composition of the substance is a grouping of tiny fibers that cling together, but they can be broken apart. When they are, the fibers float in the air, and they can be inhaled without the victim even knowing what has happened. Once the asbestos fibers intrude into the respiratory system of any person, they will stay in place for several years and become likely to develop into a cancerous disease or respiratory illness. This can be a fatal circumstance, so anyone who may have been around any products that were made from asbestos should seek out medical attention right away.
Last modified: December 09, 2009.