Are oil refineries harmful?

Are oil refineries harmful?
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POSTED: Monday, November 14, 2011 - 7:44pm

UPDATED: Monday, November 14, 2011 - 9:44pm

"My sister and my mom are two of those people that died from environmental diseases," says Iris Brown Carter.

Carter is among the people who claim they've suffered as a result of emissions coming out of oil refineries.

"We have no, no kind of cancer in our family, in our history, so it has to be the environment," says Carter.

Exxon says the company isn't  to blame for these issues. Not only do the emissions from their facility meet legal limits, but they are also much lower than are currently required.

"D.E.Q. has done sampling in the near community several times, most recently last week and in no case have they found any constituents that they monitored for near the health effects to be concerned with," says Exxon spokesperson Robert Berg.

Carter was joined at the meeting by Darrell Heltz of the United Steelworkers. He says the issues don't just stop with the health effects. From the oil refineries, he believes that because the refineries are understaffed a tragedy is just waiting to happen.

"If nothing changes somebody is going to get hurt or worse killed. We seen it in Aviate and Norco. We've seen it in BP in 2005. We saw it last year in Anacourtis. Are we running on luck? I hope not. Luck's not where I want to be," says Heltz

Exxon says they don't feel citizens have anything to fear.

"We believe that we're staffed adequately and our safety and environmental performance improvements really point to that," says Berg.

But Carter says more needs to be done, "I want them to fix the plant to stop sending pollutants out."

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