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Report: PES refinery might have released toxic hydrofluoric acid

Philadelphia Energy Solutions Inc. will begin neutralizing tens of thousands of barrels of toxic hydrofluoric acid Aug. 5 at a refinery that was damaged by explosions and a fire in June, according to local NPR affiliate WHYY.

An Aug. 2 Reuters report, citing unnamed sources, said PES was expected to tell government officials that the chemical might have been released from the refinery in the wake of the June 21 incident. The sources did not know how much might have been released, Reuters said.

Operations workers activated an emergency system that dumped the acid into a protective vessel minutes after the blaze and a series of explosions at the PES refinery on June 21, according to Reuters.

PES shut down the refinery, which has a processing capacity of about 335,000 barrels of crude oil per day and produces 110 million barrels of refined products per year, after the fire and is preparing it for sale.