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Philadelphia’s Bid to Ban Refinery Chemical Could Hit OSHA Wall

April 10, 2020, 7:15 PM

Federal occupational safety and health law may preempt Philadelphia from implementing a ban on hydrogen fluoride for use in oil refinery processes, say industry attorneys watching the city’s attempt to ban the chemical.

The Philadelphia City Council’s proposal, which was set for a second reading and final vote before the coronavirus pandemic, has support from the mayor after a fire and explosion at Philadelphia Energy Solutions’ Girard Point Refinery in June 2019, where toxic hydrofluoric acid—a mixture of hydrogen fluoride (HF) and water—was released. Philadelphia leaders hope that their attempt to ban HF from refinery processes within city limits will ...