Corpus Christi is a city of 285,000 located on the Gulf of Mexico 120 miles north of the Mexican border. The town's three large oil refineries collectively process 593,568 barrels of oil a day — 21,000 more than the nation's single largest refinery in Baytown, Texas.
Many of the refineries in Corpus Christi were built in the '30s and '40s and are grandfathered in and protected against modern safety and emissions standards. Last summer, a control valve failed at the Citgo refinery and a fire flared up that burned for days, ultimately dumping over 21 tons of deadly hydrogen fluoride hydrofluoric acid into the air.
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