SUPERIOR, WI — With the news Wednesday that the Husky refinery in Superior will continue the use of a potentially deadly chemical, several people are weighing in.
Hydrogen fluoride has been in question for nearly a year now, after an explosion and fire in April of 2018 injured 36, and caused thousands to evacuate the city.
It’s in the spotlight again Wednesday, as Husky as announced, once the refinery is operational again, they will continue the use of it.
Superior Mayor Jim Paine said, he’s happy with the safety measures being put in place but that doesn’t mean he’s okay with HF staying.
“No, I am not sold on HF staying in Superior. I do support improved safety measures. I absolutely support that. And I applaud them for doing that. But they need to keep looking at HF. They can’t just say that this works, it’s the easiest thing to do, and therefore they’re going to just keep doing it.”
Paine added Husky’s permits to use HF are granted at the state and federal level.
That means the city can’t mandate they get rid of it.
Meanwhile, groups who are working to get HF out of Superior are sounding off on Wednesday’s news.
In a statement, the group Twin Ports Action Alliance says the safety measures are not enough.
The full statement is below:
“Husky’s misleading promise of increased safety depends upon their intention to expand their water mitigation system. However, in the words of Ron Koopman the leading expert on Hydrogen Fluoride, who conducted the Amoco Study, “it takes a lot of [water] the water has to be applied perfectly to the cloud — and it has to be applied immediately.” A mitigation system can be impaired by flying shrapnel from explosions. We can thank all local and state elected officials for downplaying the risks of HF and not taking a stance despite repeated requests from constituents. Now is the time for elected officials to do what is right in the name of public safety. “