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EPA Responds to Magellan Tank Fire in Kansas City, Kan.

Release Date: 06/04/2008
Contact Information: Chris Whitley, 913-551-7394,

Environmental News


(Kansas City, Kan., June 4, 2008) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency employees today will monitor air quality data from approximately 60 locations in the Kansas City metro area, as part of the Agency's ongoing action to assess environmental impacts from a massive fire that began last night at a petroleum storage tank in Kansas City, Kan.

EPA Region 7 emergency responders were dispatched to the scene of the fire at the Magellan Midstream Partners petroleum distribution terminal, 401 E. Donovan Road, at approximately 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, June 3. Fire department officials believe the fire was started around 7:30 p.m. when lightning struck on or near a tank containing approximately 1.2 million gallons of unleaded gasoline.

On EPA's initial response to the fire, Region 7 on-scene coordinators used field-portable instruments to screen for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter. The initial data indicated only minor detections of VOCs. Initial air sampling for particulate matter also indicated only minor detections, but teams will continue to assess data to determine any changes.

As of this morning, the Agency was collecting data from at least 60 different monitoring locations in the metro area, most of them situated along or near the path of the smoke plume generated by the fire. The monitoring sites include temporary ones set up by EPA and by Magellan's contractors, as well as stationary monitoring points maintained by other entities, including the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas.

The monitoring points are situated with an emphasis on monitoring air quality in residential neighborhoods and near sensitive locations such as schools, day care centers, hospitals, nursing homes and urgent care centers. Additional monitoring points may be established, and currently deployed monitoring equipment may be relocated to gather data elsewhere as the fire continues to burn.

EPA Region 7 is coordinating with the Unified Command which includes representatives from Magellan, the Kansas City, Kan. Fire and Police departments, the Emergency Management Department of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, and the Fairfax Drainage District.

When sampling results become available, EPA will post this information on the EPA Region 7 Web site.

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