Communities face surging toxic fumes and possible water contamination, as refineries and plants report more than 2,700 tons of extra pollution

Hurricane Harvey has resulted in Houston’s petrochemical industry leaking thousands of tons of pollutants, with communities living near plants damaged by the storm exposed to soaring levels of toxic fumes and potential water contamination.

Refineries and chemical plants have reported more than 2,700 tons, or 5.4m pounds, of extra air pollution due to direct damage from the hurricane as well as the preventive shutting down of facilities, which causes a spike in released toxins.

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