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Air sampling planned after vapor release

The smell may be gone, but monitoring and updating will continue.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is taking ongoing steps to provide information regarding the release of vapor at United Refining Co. last weekend and to track air quality in the area.

“The DEP has launched a dedicated website to provide important news and updates concerning the ongoing response to the incident at United Refining,” Northwest Region Community Relations Coordinator Tom Decker said. “The site includes info on testing and monitoring plans to ensure community safety and fact sheets on pollutants of concern.”

The website — dep.pa.gov/About/Regional/NorthwestRegion/Community-Information/Pages/United-Refining-Company.aspx — went live on Friday, Decker said.

“Increased air sampling is also taking place in Warren,” Decker said. “The DEP has requested that United Refining pay for and deploy a community wide air monitoring network as part of a layered monitoring plan to measure air contaminates in the community during this situation. This equipment will allow both the DEP and United Refining to have real time access to the data as well as providing email notifications should an alarm be triggered.”

“The DEP is also is conducting 12-hour sampling in the community using SUMMA canisters to help determine time weighted averages for a broader set of potential compounds which will help the public health agencies review potential public health impacts as a result of the roof failure,” he said. “Sampling results will be available on the dedicated webpage, which will be updated with new information as it becomes available.”

United Refining this week issued press releases explaining the cause of the leak and reassuring those smelling the odor that the release did not pose a public health hazard. The company said the roof of a tank malfunctioned under the weight of snow, compounded by rain and warm temperatures.

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