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Reader's view: Refinery owner should stop using toxic chemical

I remember a story in the News Tribune on Feb. 25, 2011: “Murphy Oil found to use toxic chemical.” It was about the use of hydrofluoric acid to refine high-octane gasoline at the Superior refinery. I remember being very frightened when I read in the article how deadly this acid, if released, could be to workers, the environment and the entire community within 25 miles. A low-hanging cloud could “envelop Superior and Duluth — and put 180,000 people in the Twin Ports area at risk of injury or death,” the story reported.

I learned later that the company was bought by Calumet Lubricants of Indianapolis. This happened in 2011. I learned, too, that hydrofluoric acid still is being used today in the alkylation process at the refinery, even though other safer technologies exist for alkylation.

Calumet owes it to us as citizens of this great community to explain why it is still putting at risk its workers, the environment and people all across the Twin Ports area.

Patricia Richard-Amato