Panel to assess toxic damage from IOC fire

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 02, 2009 19:40 hrs

Crude oil worth Rs 500 crore may have already gone up in flames at Jaipur’s Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) depot but the environmental damage caused by the fire could be worse as a variety of toxic gases are polluting the environment.

"We can’t say what the damage has been but we are monitoring sulphur dioxide, suspended particulate matter (SPM), respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) and oxides of nitrogen. The damage can’t be quantified at this point of time, but we have set up a committee to see the combined effect of all pollutants and take remedial measures," Arvinder Singh Brar, member secretary of the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board, told Business Standard.

"We have sent our officials to take stock of the situation there and by tomorrow, we will be able to take some action," says S P Gautam, chairman, Central Pollution Control Board.

"These kinds of accidents don’t happen very often and though a lot of oil has gone up besides emitting a lot of pollutants, it is early to comment on the damage," said an analyst.

Brar explained that because of the petroleum getting burnt, a lot of hydrocarbons would have been emitted in the air. If oxygen is available, then carbon changes to carbon dioxide and if there is insufficient oxygen, then carbon monoxide may be released into the atmosphere.

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