“PHILADELPHIA — Last May, an air monitor on the border of the East Coast's largest oil refinery recorded a level of cancer-causing gas more than 21 times the federal limit.
In June, an explosive early-morning fire rocked the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery, terrifying nearby residents. Weeks after the disaster, as PES filed for bankruptcy and wound down operations, another air monitor in the network that rings the facility quietly registered the same sky-high reading for benzene. Long-term exposure to the sweet-smelling chemical has been linked to leukemia, lymphoma, and a host of blood and immune system disorders.
That monitor, on the edge of this 1,300-acre complex of steel and pipe, is across an expressway from schools, parks, a strip mall and hundreds of homes.”