Refineries’ benzene blight of fenceline communities spurs call for EPA enforcement

Almost half of all U.S. oil refineries are emitting benzene at levels known to cause long-term health harms to communities living within a few miles of the facilities, according to a new report from environmentalists who say stricter Environmental Protection Agency enforcement and monitoring is needed.

The Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) and other clean air advocacy groups on Thursday unveiled a new report and map based on refinery data from January 2018 to December 2021 showing emissions of benzene, a hazardous air pollutant that can cause health problems from immune system damage to leukemia.