Jul 29, 2014

Two Employees Exposed in Gas Leak at St. Paul Park Refinery

The employees declined medical attention, and officials did not consider the leak to be serious.

Northern Tier Energy said their St. Paul Park oil refinery is up and running at full capacity after a Tuesday afternoon gas leak.

About three quarters of a pound of hydrogen sulfite were released into the air and about 16 pounds of sulfur dioxide were released as a result of combustion, according to a Department of Public Safety report (see attached).

The leak was contained within 18 minutes, though two employees were exposed to the emissions.

"A couple of people in the beginning felt a little discomfort, didn't want treatment, just could taste and smell," the report read.

Pam McCurdy, a public information officer for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, said the leak was more or less routine and the agency did not respond to the scene.

St. Paul Park police and fire departments are on site, and other local departments were put on standby. (Inver Grove Heights police were not notified.)

Tracy Johnson, a spokesperson for Northern Tier, said she didn't know the cause of the leak, or whether any further investigation into the leak was being conducted.

When asked if any more details about the leak would be released, she responded, "I don’t think we would give them out even if we did [know]."

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