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Proposed settlement seeks to offset Husky Refinery explosion emissions

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SUPERIOR, WI-- Offsetting past pollution, that is what Superior's Husky Refinery is being called to do after the 2018 explosion.

This comes after a proposed settlement filed in federal court on Friday.

According to our partners at Wisconsin Public Radio the biggest call to action is making safety upgrades to the refinery's hydrofluoric acid tank.

HF caused great concern during the fire forcing some of the city's 27,000 people to temporarily evacuate.

In the past Husky announced upgrades to safety measures surrounding the HF tank, those are still on the table.

The agreement would also include installation of solar panels at the University of Wisconsin–Superior that would provide at least 440 kilowatts of power for the school.

The proposed settlement also asks Husky to spend at least $290,000 to replace or retrofit inefficient wood-burning stoves or furnaces at homes, churches or schools spanning a seven-county region and several reservations in northern Wisconsin.

At least 12 percent of the funding must be dedicated to rebates or discounts for low-income households. The work must be completed within four years.

Also included is a study that would measure ways to mitigate the effects of a potential HF leak.

All of these measures and others are expected to offset the emissions released in that 2018 fire.

WPR reports an estimated 125 tons of nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds and other emissions were released during the nearly 12 hour long blaze.

This all comes as the refinery is working to re-build and open for full operation next year.

Husky officials say they believe it is important to get the amendment finalized as they move forward with re-opening the refinery.

The agreement will now go before a federal judge for approval.

This is all part of an effort to be compliant with the Federal Clean Air Act.

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John Cardinale

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