Sep 7, 2017|
Jennifer Dlouhy (Bloomberg, Houston Floods) by The Financial Exchange
Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.
Ari we're joined now by our good friend. Jennifer delete from Bloomberg to talk about flood waters and benzene and I Jennifer welcome to the show. So help us understand first off for those of us who forgot our high school chemistry what is benzene. Well for benzene is a at this week smelling a chemical that naturally apart. The crude oil that comes up and down and their ground and it made in the gasoline. It's also used as the main you know first ingredients that feed stock for plastics and pesticides. But you know it's also a carcinogen. Point to leukemia and other blood cancers. Okay. Great to right now there's no evidence that Andy his it has made it into water storm waters or other waterways around he's been. But but the concern is that spending in so many other chemicals that kind of we had a run through this petrochemical complex that is speech he's been in the Gulf Coast region. That with spilled coming from. You know chemical facilities with runoff from various sites. That and even Superfund sites where clean up has been and going on for quite some time. That some of these chemicals in the intensity may in fact Leach into the ground speed moved around. An and and frankly that there are some long term chemical exposure risks. Bird up by our break. Well didn't we have a chemical plant explosion last week when the refrigeration stopped working. Right I mean there's I've batted it that was one at that the first clear examples of said the devastation when that arc in the facility. Had those explosions. Which is still being investigated. So what happens you know I have it at my farm I have a well in the backyard. It is it the is it if you're in Houston in you have a well. If for your house. It sounds like that might be contaminated. Well throughout the southeast Texas. Throughout that whole region in fact water facilities are we Blair facilities that are not operating fully dumb have been off line. For days now are warning that there is raw sewage spirited risk that peeping into the ground in contending pride that wealth. You can get of course they're not as deep in about water isn't going to be treated. Drinking water pumped drinking water supply very different issue but if you have a private water well in many areas you are being told to. To boil or use other supplies that the point. What about that Valero facility where there is an antique that if the roof collapsed and who was there or not. A release of benzene at that Bolero facility that was in so much trouble. Right that they reported that after yeah LA is they were inundated with water McCain groups collapse partially. They they report to the state it's six point seven count the benzene well what's released. There's a lot of questions about what may be in the air around that facility and today that there are other chemical facilities in the area. The local health a health officials. An environmental group in the EPA have to have monitored air in in some cases he's been very high concentrations of Ben being tethered to could turn out. You know maybe there's an ongoing leak not just that original ones maybe at some other facility they're there checking that out. How many you dared dozens of Superfund sites in Houston area and they all underwater right now. No it and a of course water had to have receded from a number of them direct thirteen federal Superfund sites that were believed to bully beef flooded not two of which were particularly a difficult to access and are sort of aren't going to during their their. EPA is doing ongoing assessment there at their initial signs of damage at one of them. Which is that it's an old toxic waste pit. I was used her you know paper and and pulp waste in the end and there's concern about to you know dioxin and other carcinogens at that site. A protective cap that that tipped over those chemicals in them kind of disturbance that was just reported last night so that the source of ongoing concern. Why would they put a Superfund site. In an area that could flood the immune that just seemed like a mistake. Yeah I mean I think yet there are a lot of mistakes associated with these sites. Which word correct to do you know decades ago many of them were illegal dump site some of them are not added dump site but. You know decades ago we just didn't have the foresight I think that we do now and now we're left cleaning up. Mathisen and these are tough police sister mediated and cases they are using these caps over. The chemicals that the path to. You know pull bully pulling up the oil I mean it's it's a tough challenge and the problem is this stuff is very different decades ago it's that it's and and whether it's in the floodwaters path or not it it's there. So you know when you and you look at this you know are we gonna be dealing with cancer risk in increased levels of illness. The next 2030 years because of the hurricane. You know I think there's there's actually at the bit hopeful note when you look at what happened after Katrina there were they huge concern about kind of a toxic gumbo. I'm being conjured up the night in New Orleans after Katrina and it's still. Sampling of years later indicated that you know the waters were not to particularly onerous that they weren't high levels of talks in any more than you with the after a major storm. I'll water just you know local storm event. I felt so that's an encouraging sign him and I think the folks who live in the shadows of refineries already live with kind of a fear. The long term health risks just from Munich daily exposure keep them low level missions that are acceptable I'd be acceptable so. You know there's always that concern I think they're they're hopeful stories that came out of Katrina in terms of did the devastation there being less. Didn't that the chemical devastation perhaps being less than feared. Jennifer dare I ask what kind of exposure risk we have in Florida in trying to kind of you know chemical and refineries I don't think every at Florida's the big refinery state. You know you're. You're much more integrated Florida much more insulated them then and Texas which of course prides itself on its petrochemical complex at that. Derek Superfund sites in Florida where yesterday. Crews were out you know badly making sure barrels were being pulled away. Trying to do what they could didn't secure the sites that work is ongoing today. You know there at some point your riding out this storm but in terms of the number of complex this sport is in a much different position. Very good well week of very much appreciate your time Jennifer and will stay in touch because I've I've got a pretty good idea the story's not over. Not thank you very much Jennifer delete from Bloomberg and you know the more you learn. About Houston. I have to just say this in and and I'm very sympathetic towards the citizens of Houston. But the city planners in the government of Houston who want to Landers has done a terrible job in protecting their citizens. Well they have and you know this is this is one of the things where we talk about the impact of regulation or regulation has huge upfront costs announced the construction and so he or nominee anti regulation god that this is as he struck. With a lack of regulation right in Texas is gonna cost every everybody is listening to the show right now. Is going to be your your taxes are going up. And you're gonna pay more income tax. As a consequence. Of Texas incompetence. It's exactly right either at it and why is it unfair it is noted that there's a balance to be struck where you need some basic. Regulation just kind of say look here's what you can and can't do when some of these Ayers is as you said otherwise. You've got these Superfund sites that are New Britain next houses and stuff like that pose with a client yesterday and he said you know Barry why should my tax money my federal tax money. He going to Texas when they don't even have a state income tax in Texas why you know it the so there is a mindset like that we here. People are are waking up and sampled on how much what's the price tag on on Houston. And now we're gonna get another bill for Florida writes a gift to states impacted that don't have a state income tax. And the residents and makes a lot of attacks are saying. Hey and opens it up in this is why you have basic federal standard so that you don't have to have the opposite it's a tie. If people are justified in my opinion people are justifiably upset.