Our opinion: Incident deserved more urgency

There is no question that United Refining Co. has been a “good neighbor” to Warren County for more than a century. But, as this week has shown, it could do a better job of communicating.

Over the weekend, calls poured in to the Warren County 911 center regarding a suspicious odor that created plenty of alarm for residents since at least Friday. Two days later, the company issued a statement that failure of a petroleum storage tank roof in Warren resulted in the release of natural petroleum vapor and an accompanying unpleasant odor. The issue was later corrected, the company also noted.

“There was no threat to human health or the environment during this time,” United said in a statement issued Monday. “While we addressed the situation as rapidly as possible, we apologize to the community for the inconvenience and appreciate your continued understanding. As a member of the Warren community since 1902, we will continue to make every effort to be good neighbors.”

Accidents do happen, that is understandable. But when something potentially impacts the public safety, there needs to be a responsibility — and urgency — to bring some reassurance to a community that was understandably concerned.


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