Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Someone You Know Could Die

You, or someone you know, could die:

Hydrofluoric Acid (HFA)
What You Need to Know

By Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

At Risk:  27,000,000 Americans

Los Angeles is not alone in facing the potential deaths of millions of residents by Hydrofluoric Acid (HFA).  In the United States, there are 19 metropolitan areas and 18 rural towns facing the same threat from 49 obsolete HFA catalyst using, gasoline-making refineries.

At EcoAlert, we have produced exhaustive studies, articles, and research materials on the danger continued use of HFA presents to people and all living things.  But it has not penetrated far enough to motivate effective action.  We discussed the problem and decided to provide you with a more compelling presentation of these dangers.  There is a solution to this problem, and others. 

The list below provides areas in the US now in immediate danger of death and extreme maiming from the use of HFA.  

Glance over the list.  You most likely either know someone, have family, or are yourself at risk.  What you are going to read is distressing.  But it is the nightmare which wakes  us up in a cold sweat nearly every night.  I have family living in harm’s way.  

At Risk Metro Areas in the United States.

Number of Refineries using Hydrofluoric Acid 
        Areas with populations between 1,000,000 and 8,000,000

3   in metro Philadelphia PA and downwind Wilmington DE, and Camden NJ in kill/maim-zone 20-mile radii 
3   New Orleans LA 
1   Baton Rouge LA  
3   Salt Lake City UT   
2   Chicago IL    
2   Los Angeles CA
1    Twin Cities Minneapolis/St. Paul MN

Areas with populations between 300,000 to 1,000,000

Texas has 7 HFA refineries: 
2   Corpus Christi
2 Port Arthur/Galveston
2    Texas City
1    Pasadena (Houston metro) 
1 Canton OH
2 Memphis TN 

Major towns with populations below 300,000
1 Billings MT
1  Duluth/Superior MN
1  Ferndale/Bellingham WA
1  Ashland KY
1       Ponca City OK 
1       Crawford County IL   

Plus 18 refineries in Rural towns facing doom or new prosperity, see column G on ARDMAC Excel spreadsheets.

      On Feb. 18, 2015, an incident took place at the Torrance Refinery.  In their recent report, released last Wednesday, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board said the blast, which nearly ruptured the plant’s 55,000 gallon tank of HFA, could have been prevented.  The report went on to state the release could have been catastrophic.  What 
could ‘catastrophic’ mean?  
      What you are about to read reflects the real potential for death and the impact this would have on all of us.  

Poisoned and Burned by Hydrofluoric Acid

Impact from poisoning by the nearly 100% concentrations of HFA happens fast and is potentially lethal as a poison gas at room temperature. HFA becomes a gas at 67.1 degrees. In gaseous form, it can kill in 19 minutes.  

A third of the oil companies are still using this obsolete HFA process.  They are well aware of the  hazards this presents. Instead of changing their process, all of them take have taken steps to evade the potential for liability.   They claim they do not have the funds to change to modern liquid sulfuric acid catalyst processing to make gasoline.  Liquid sulfuric acid does not become gaseous until the temperature reaches 560 degrees Fahrenheit.  This could happen during a fire, but not if the acid is just spilled.   

  • HFA becomes a gas at 67.1 degrees Fahrenheit, room temperature.  For most of the areas listed, this means the potential for city-killing disaster is year-round.  
  • HFA molecules heavier than air.  Released, it becomes a gas and travels along the ground, moving with the wind.  Unless you are in an air-proof container, with stored breathable air pumped in, you will be vulnerable.  

The photos you are going to see are from injuries which took place with small releases of the HFA gas; or diluted in water at lower concentrations, 10 - 40%.  In this form, HFA is used for removing rust and etching glass.  Injuries occur frequently with these uses and are serious.   

The kill and maim zone from just one typical 55,000 gallon refinery tank of HFA is around 20 miles, depending on the wind direction. 

A breach of one of the HFA tanks could happen at any hour of the day or night, during the work week, while you are picking up your children from school, as you fall asleep at night, or while you are at work, miles from your home. 

Now, please read the scenario, a synopsis from the screen play, “19 Minutes.” It is entirely based on the facts.  The story takes you into an American city to watch the experience of one family, as their city dies.   

Story:  One Family, a suburban area near a refinery using HFA

Jen:  A mother, going about her life in an upscale development near a major metropolitan area. 

Jen is married and lives a half mile from the refinery, but today you can smell the scent of it in the wind, which is moving the spring leaves on the tree outside the windows on this side of the house.  The smell is not annoying enough to warrant complaint.  Claims of climate change are a topic for satire with Jen’s friends.   

Jen is in her late 30’s, a natural blond with perfect skin who has aced her way through life.    

It is just past 6:08am.  Jen, a working mother, who gave up the fast track to be home with her two daughters, is working on a news release, now nearly finished.  Her client is Cape Media, a start-up in which Jen has invested sweat equity.    Five days a week Jen drives Abby, the oldest, by five years, to her private school or, for the youngest, Molly, to day care at Miss Montgomery’s School for the Young.  Day care will end at the same time Jen picks up Abby, as the schools are next door to each other.   After that, the day is given to play dates, or lessons.    Abby, older by five years, is now in sixth grade and views herself as an adult.

Glancing away from the clock over her desk, Jen finishes the news release she is writing and glances at her email, seeing one is from her next door neighbor, Jacque Stafford.  She and Jacque share a passion for pastries and once and a while slip out to enjoy a self-indulgent hour at La Patisserie, which is tucked into a quiet corner of the local mall.   Lately, Jacque has started reading the Facebook site for the group opposed to the local refinery. The email could be pastries, but it could be boring. 

Jacque's kids are nearly the same age as Jen's, one girl, Connie, bakes goodies to be sold at Abby and Molly's Lemonade Stand.  

Jen sends off the news release and leans back, delighting for a moment in the serene calm of her office.  It is perfectly organized and furnished in ivory and Celadon green.  Although many of her friends have stopped buying antiques, Jen still appreciates their fine, detailed workmanship.  She refinished this desk herself, taking off layers of paint to reveal the lovely grain of the wood.  Through research, she discovered the piece is over 200 years old and the work of a master woodworker from Amesbury, Massachusetts.  His name was faint, but readable, on the underside of one of the drawers.   Jen paid $45 for it at an estate sale.  Now, it sits between ivory colored shelves and wood filing cabinets, painted to match the walls.  

Photos of Molly and Abby at the Lemonade stand serving Jacque, with Connie and Eric setting up cupcakes for sale,  hang beside them.  Jeff, Jacque's father sent Jen a copy his shot, already framed.  Her wedding portrait with Dwayne smiles at her, with images from their vacations together.  Each perfectly framed.  

It was tough for Jen to give up her job at West Star Communications. She thought long and hard about this because her career was both stimulating and challenging.  But being with the girls, and knowing they were safe, came first.  Dwayne agreed.  He works thirty miles away, hates the commute, but is happy knowing they are safe, too.  

Jen worries about pollutants, but knows nothing about Hydrofluoric Acid.  In this, she is like most Americans.   If she knew, she would never have moved to Kendal Commons.  There is only one road out, and in times of emergency, getting out would be difficult or impossible.  

A ruptured HFA tank’s release would hit like a neutron bomb, causing little damage to streets and buildings, but killing everything in its path.  First responders would be told to stay away since they are not equipped with the  protective suits and respirators it would take to survive themselves.  Since Jen knows nothing of this, these facts do not worry her.  Ignorance can kill.    

Kendal Commons is a development where children play freely, and families visit back and forth like the small town of another century.  Nearly every weekend the neighbors get together for meals and organize trips to the many local places which are educational and fun.  

This is where Dwayne helped the girls build their prized lemonade stand, which has become a destination for everyone in the development.  Cookies, fruit slices and slices of pie and cake are also sold there, provided by the girls’ friends and parents, proud of being suppliers and making their own money.  Abby is the accountant for herself and Molly.  She  started a bank account for them herself, now holding $965.20.  

The released gas travels fast.  It kills in 19 minutes as the fluorine ions replace the calcium and magnesium in lung and heart tissue, cardiac arrest occurs.  

Lightly running her hand over the satin finish of her desk, Jen pads into the kitchen for a second cup of coffee.  It is 6:13am.  Just as she finishes pouring, her hand jerks, spilling a drop of coffee on the marble counter.  Did she hear something?  It was faint, but sounded like a deep wump explosion in the distance. The leaves outside are sending out a beautiful resonance of sound, as they do when the wind picks up.   She pauses a moment, wondering.  The girls may still be sleeping, because nothing seems to be stirring in the house.

Vaguely worried, Jen calls the fire department, but the line is busy.  Strange, she thinks.  Then, she punches the number to  call city hall.  Busy.  Finally, worried, Jen calls the police as she turns on local news report.  There has been an explosion at the local refinery.  The news commentator reports the advice given to them by city hall to use when incidents occur, “shelter in place.”  The refinery experiences frequent flares and spills of petroleum, accompanied by the stench of pollutants. 

There will be no shelter in Jen’s home or car from what is coming. 

Suddenly, Jen hears the television in the family room come on as the commentator is handed a paper.  The girls are up, surprised by what they are hearing. Eyes growing wide, the news commentator is  reading from the piece of paper handed to her.    

Together, on separate TVs, Jen and the girls hear the panic in the commentator’s voice as listeners are urged to leave the area as the television feed changes.  Before their eyes a wave of white, cloud-like gas is undulating and rolling through familiar streets.  The camera continues to roll as the crew backs away.  The camera falls to the pavement, focused still toward the cloud, as it is enveloped.  Jen and the girls can hear the camera crew yelling and someone gasping.  The news room jolts back onto the screen, frozen on the stunned face of the commentator.      

Jen recognized the street.  It is only a quarter mile from them.  


Later, much later, when the HFA is dissipated, emergency workers and police will walk into homes, through open doors or entering through windows.  This is the first survey, looking for the dead.  They have found some still in bed, others crumpled in their kitchen, in the bathroom, holding children or pets, a few still clutching their cell phones or heads in the sink trying to wash off or out the HFA.

It took  only 19 minutes until their lungs were  eaten away.  The fluorine in the HFA is attacking vital organs through the blood from the lungs, while hydrogen acid ions penetrate the skin, allowing the fluorine to advance, replacing the tissues’ calcium and magnesium, directly, for instance, in their eyes. Then, HFA attacks the heart muscle, stopping it cold. 

Through those hours of shock and disbelief, local, and then national, organizations are beginning to organize for a disaster larger in scope than any previous disaster in America’s history.   

The transport for the dead is whatever is available.  Cold storage is found in food warehouses, no longer necessary, and bodies are matched with the information available.  Calls from family and friends begin to overload local phone capacity.  With the first responders, comes a team assembled to search records for relations.  

The threat of disease, caused by bodies which are not refrigerated, will be grave.  Arrangements for burial, or disposal, become a topic of controversy.  

Emergency stations are established along with phone numbers and a website to help people find each other.  No one in the impacted area can go home. Shelters are opened.  Most have cell phones, but not everyone.  About half the dead have been identified by address, but the remaining identifications, for people on the street or away from their homes when  the cloud hit, often have nothing to identify themselves.  

Handling the devastation will take months or years to complete.  Protocols will be set, then changed, as projections fail and new threats are realized.  

Life will never again be ‘normal.’  In one day, America has suffered more civilian casualties than were imposed on Iraq in years of war, more than the military deaths, and all the wounded, from all wars fought in our nation’s history.   

As the Responders begin their work, what they find is death and silence. Eerily, watering systems come on, along with lights, preprogrammed television shows, and alarms.  But nothing living stirs.   No birds are in the trees, no animals appear alive, as they make their rounds.  Eventually, predators, human and animal, do appear, but this is also horrifying.    

It took less than a week before Responders began to see doors and windows broken in, valuables stolen from under the dead eyes of the owners.  Soon, they could recognize the patterns.  The police began a perimeter watch, but the area was so large this proved to be ineffective.  The state National Guard was then taken off their duty and redeployed as guards.  Surveillance by cameras soon followed, with drones watching from above, throughout the night hours.  

These looters were summarily imprisoned, as much for their own safety as to serve justice.  The mood of spared friends, family, and neighbors made more permanent, and immediate, sentences, likely.  Two of what the public came to call, ‘carrion eaters,’ were found by in front of city hall, hanged from a light post.  

From the crowd who watched the two cut down was shouted. “They should have hung the oil executives with them.”  Another voice responded, “Hey!  Where are they now?”

Attacks by larger groups of looters on Responders resulted in issuing first pepper spray and then guns to responding teams.  

The deaths of two Responders, one a volunteer from the outlying community put fuel on the fire of rage, now building as the initial shock faded.  The funeral for the two, one of whom had been a friend of Jen’s from their church, was attended by 100,000 people.  The flow of volunteers from other parts of the country, some of whom had realized their own areas were also at risk, mounted.  Survivors whose areas had been cleared used their homes, businesses, and community buildings to house them.  

Explaining why he had come, a volunteer from the Philadelphia area said, “It could have been my family. My Mom and Dad live behind us, one block from the refinery.  They all urged me to come, for them, too.”  Pausing, he continued. “I had a sister.  Five years ago she died of cancer.  She was 24.   We all felt it was the refinery who caused it.  She was a real go-getter, fought for her life every day.  I’m here for our parents, and for her, Ashley.” 

Ashley’s name appeared on a new wall at the Memorial the next day.  

Stolen property was tracked down, seized, along with the bank accounts, cash, and valuables perpetrators tried to claim as their own.  These funds were used to establish the Never Forget Fund in memory of what survivors were calling The Day.   

Unable to handle the massive work, even with the National Guards working seven days a week, more and more survivors began volunteering to assist the police, to care for the maimed, and to do Area Inventory, the phrase used by the Responders, for their surveys.  

Receiving the stolen property resulted in imprisonment.  None of the perpetrators would be released, the public was told, until the honored dead, the victims, had been, finally laid to rest.   

Some homes Responders entered are blessedly empty of death.  Their residence notes tell  the Responders who missed dying there.  It is hard work for Responders, coming across bodies dead for several days and then weeks.  Cats and dogs, pet mice, every imaginable animal also died horribly. There is nothing to rescue.  This began hitting Responders hard in the first week.      

First responders ask for, and receive, treatment for trauma, not from physical injuries but to cope with the nightmares they take back to their own homes.  Soon, their work has been organized to give them relief time, as more First responders arrive from across the country.  

Dying of HFA poisoning is ugly, painful. During the 19-minutes of burning skin, eyes and lungs, bringing helpless terror, their bodies are dissolving. Children would have died calling for their mothers and fathers or other caretakers.  Those last few minutes would have been overwhelming agony.  Responders see it in what is left of their faces and opaqued, damaged eyes.   

As more dead were cleared from cars, either trapped or wrecked in traffic, the tally mounts.  
Some cars are filled with suitcases, boxes of photos, and treasures,  telling their own stories.   
Tow trucks lined up for miles, their drivers enduring the stench, which will grow worse, before it begins to fade.   Street after street, they wait, load, and deliver the residue of lives lost to their next stop. It was slow,  clearing pile up, after pile up, of cars, trucks, and pedestrians clutching bags of their possessions. Often, people doing this work dehumanize the dead.  But not here.  The dead are treated with respect.  After all, no one else knew what could happen either. 

The twisted, crumpled bodies of people struggling to escape had  suddenly, realized their danger.  Frantic to escape, they had headed for streets, away from the advancing cloud of death.  Sometimes, they were right, sometimes wrong.  

Schools remained closed within a hundred miles of the death and maiming zone, until further notice. 

 The size of the square above is proportional.  It takes far less skin for a child to be impacted.


In the aftermath, people seek explanations.  What they got was rhetoric. 

        The Mayor, the Governor and President Trump, were all present when the memorial to the dead and maimed was dedicated. Initially it had stood at a neighborhood park at the far end of the kill zone.  Now, it was permanently set on land next to a Mormon Stake Center nearby.  
      Survivors had grown indifferent to all visitors who were only there as sightseers. They were tired of being told,  again and again, the disaster is less monumental than it could have been.  
       At first, they had been stunned, then quiet.  Now they were indifferent, ignoring them. 
      The media accompanying the President, those with the Governor realized this was news,  news which would redefine those they covered.  Who ignores the Governor of California and the President of the United States?  There had been no eager voters, waiting to shake hands, no cheers, only sullen glances and gestures aimed at Secretary Tillerson, who had accompanied the Presidential Party.  But these people did.  Instead, they were busy with relief work and reassembling what was left of their lives and businesses.    
 It was the memorial which held the interest of the survivors.  Its hastily built walls, filled with photos of the dead and missing, flowers and stuffed animals had been moved, rebuilt, and planted with flowers, fruit trees and vertical gardens, producing organic vegetables.  People need to eat when they are working. 
        Here, they held the memorial services for those they had lost.  Here,  they prepared meals for the continuing flow of volunteers from other towns, states, and countries, who had come to remember their dead.  

          After making their remarks, the politicians departed, relieved to be finished with this unpleasant confrontation with reality. 
           One reporter took in all of it.  Without authorization from his editor, one reporter began digging in to Tillerson's history with Exxon.  What he found both shocked and elated him.  A graduate of BYU, Simon Young was the great-great-grandson of Brigham, one of the early leaders of the Mormon removal to Utah. Many of his fellow journalists noted his decided resemblance to  his ancestor.  Simon would comment he was really more like his mother's family, but they rarely took this seriously.  But this was true.  Simon's mother, a leading figure in the Women's Relief work in Provo, was a graduate of BYU herself - and a full-blooded Samoan now on Mission in Africa for the Mormon Church. 
       The dishonesty and cynicism of the publishing industry had  come as a shock to his values and sensibilities even though Simon no longer considered himself to be an active Mormon.  He might have lost his belief in being a Saint, but his values and honesty were intact.  
    Simon had been the first to accompany a Responder Team into the silent neighborhoods. His articles had resulted in complements and a raise.  And best, he had been temporarily assigned to follow the continuing events with survivors and the Kill Zone.
    It had been the interview, and resulting story on Jen and her family which had brought the reassignment.  

  Now, they considered this more deeply, reflecting that no local groups had asked for help from the authorities.  State National Guard units had come through their own request, as had former military, now growing in number. 
    Here it would stay.  The, greeted those looking for comfort, reason, and a cessation of pain.  Some may have found peace, but most found a growing outrage. 

Interviewing residents and volunteers Simon had seen the beginnings of a different America. 

Residents had early realized authorities had done exactly nothing to bring multiple problems with the refinery under control. rotests that nothing could be done were heard and choked down with bile, both by the survivors and by countless others.  Not all of the media saw this, but some did.  

Grasping the reality of dead bodies on American streets, the pathetic sight of dead pets, children, holding on to each other into death, continued to sink in deeply, ever more deeply. Millions swallowed the fact that instead of the three million, who could have died, the death toll meter had climbed at an estimated 1,457,439 after a month of clean up.  

Every man, woman and child in America felt the harsh reality.  The emergency personnel, drawn in, willy nilly, from the entire Western United States, was left with the stink of death in their nostrils, and no answers. But this lack only  

After being told not to follow up a story on Hillary Clinton's campaign, he had decided to leave the distinguished paper who had hired him.  Despite his doubts, family mattered to him, he had come to realize.    And if he was going to leave he wanted to make sure he had made a place for himself which would be remembered.  The deals cut, the payoffs made, to evade accountability were there.  And it was not just with the refineries.  Spills were handled in exactly the same way each instance.   Victims from former spills, explosions, and fires caused by Exxon, and other oil corporations.  Over the last weeks, taking time off work, Simon had found and interviewed thirty of them, also learning many had died after being exposed to oil's toxic effects.   

Russ Reynolds, one of the curious media summed it up, "They were all as guilty as hell."  

Funerals begin to take place, but these brought no release, only more outrage.  

The need for relief for those who were maimed, but did not die, is estimated to have cost, in one month, $379-Billion.  Eventually, the overflow of victims, first from local hospitals, then military hospitals, then hospitals in California and finally to hospitals as far away as New York, took a further toll on surviving family members.  Airline and charter companies donated their services, but costs to survivors continued to rise.  Forced to choose, some of the maimed survivors chose to stay and die rather than be separated from their families.  

Many of the victims will need iron lungs for the rest of their lives, if they finally survive.  

Then, another blow fell.  

While still in the hospital, victims discovered their medical insurance companies would not pay their bills.  These liabilities had been passed first to the reinsurance companies, who were  paid to extend coverage to local retail providers of insurance.  Those names people recognized.  But as the billions in reserves failed for the reinsurance companies, as well, things grew more complicated.    Trillions of dollars in costs were mounting.

When the first responders finally reached the refinery they found evidence the explosion was set by Terrorists.  The public discovers, to their shock, the government had previously arranged to accept 3% of the reinsurance company’s profits for covering them as another reinsurer.  But this was before the public announcement of U. S. insolvency was made by the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, ex-ExxonMobil CEO.  Tillerson had personally unloaded the 35-year liability of the Torrance refinery onto a depreciation-oriented PBF Energy corporation, which also owns 2 more HFA refineries in Philadelphia and Louisiana.

Americans now understand the steps taken by the petroleum industry to evade accountability and increase their profits.  They also understand, now, how insurance works, and how this had failed them by overlooking the threats presented by the petroleum industry’s under self-insuring business practice.  

The question of who will pay, hangs, unanswered as the numbering of the dead continues.   

It had taken the U.S. government ten years to cough up 20% of the 100 billion dollars politicians promised to victims of Hurricane Katrina. They only delivered $10B to New Orleans residents, and $10B to the Army Corps of Engineers to rebuild their failed dikes. The reinsurance companies had delivered $36-billion in checks on the ground to people in six weeks. Yet the magnitude of the HFA refinery tank being exploded, exhausted global reinsurers’ normal ability to cover several hurricanes and tsunami disasters per year.


Dwayne had just arrived at work when he heard about the explosion from one of his partners, who was asking about his family.  It was 7:32am.  Turning around, he saw Jen drive in to the parking lot and started running toward them.  

The moment Dwayne reached the car and saw her he took her around to the passenger seat, strapped her in, checked the girls, and headed to the hospital.  Jen was nearly the first person treated for burns, these to her eyes.  The physician, luckily, knew exactly what to do. Visibly distressed, told her, as if he was reading from a manual, exactly what he would be doing.  

Later, Jen learned she, Abby and Molly were  three, of 0nly five people, to make it out of Kendal Commons.  Jen suffered some damage to her eyes, but, because of the early treatment, so many could not find, her vision is now nearly normal.   Over and over again she is told she is lucky.  Suffering from the trauma common to survivors, Jen sometimes wishes she had chosen differently, though holding Abby and Molly brings relief.  Everyone in her neighborhood, her extended family, were gone.  Even thinking about Jacque and her family is too painful for thought.  The decision she had made in one instant, as she ran out of their home, dragging the girls, will haunt her forever.  She, Jen, is still around to be haunted.  
When they arrived at the hospital the emergency room physician did not even ask what had happened.  Directing all of them into a treatment room, he picked up supplies he had placed on a table near the receiving room.  He could see it in their eyes.  

"How long was the exposure, were all of you exposed?  The doctor glanced at Dwayne, who shook his head, "Just them.  I was already at work." The doctor noded, demanding tersely,,"How long was the elapsed time, in total?" Moving Jen onto a treatment table he examined her eyes.  "From 6:25 until now, I guess."  Jen choked out the words.  

Finished examining her eyes, the doctor asked, "Did you breathe much of it?"  Jen, her eyes burning responded, "Maybe two minutes, then we were out of it.  I made the girls put their faces in their pillows.  I hope it helped."  

The waiting room is filling up, Jen can see the burns and their eyes.  One baby is screaming with pain.  Nodding, the doctor turns to the nurse, rattling out his instructions.  "2.5% Calcium gluconate is the emergency treatment for skin. Eyes require flushing with 1,000cc at 1% Calcium Gluconate. Lungs require 1.5% vapor with oxygen (or edema will set in from the treatment) as well drowning from HF damage. Good thing your husband brought you in immediately.  Later today we will be out, and waiting for supplies.  You are also lucky my brother helped write the report for the United Steel Workers.  74% of the hospitals in all of California are extremely unprepared for an HF catastrophic release. The nurse will finish for you.  Now, let me take care of the girls.  We are going to be busy."  

Jen will never forget that day. As they drove away from the house, leaving their neighbors behind, after less than one minute of the news report, Jen, saw the miasma of the cloud coming toward them.  Gunning the engine, she held her breath, yelled to the girls not to breathe. and to close their eyes tight.  Plowing through the first gases, Jen headed for the entrance to the freeway, watching the cloud, which seemed to be chasing her.  

Slamming on the news in her car, Jen ignored people standing on the road, watching the cloud approach them, seeming bewildered and frozen.  Stifling a scream, she headed straight for the next turn, ignoring the stop lights.   

As she turned onto the last street before the freeway Jen saw one car was crammed against a telephone poll, the driver writhing on the ground, gasping.  Driving past, trying not to look, she cut through a center meridian, filled with ice plant.   Her tires squished and slipped. She began to shake, afraid they would be stuck and unable to move.  Struggling to gain traction, she looked over her shoulder at the dense white wall catching up to her. The tires suddenly leaped off the curb. From there, the freeway entrance was straight ahead. Fishtailing around two other cars with dying drivers, Jen charged onto the freeway, veering into the right, nearly off the road.  Nearly hitting a truck she slid into the space behind the semi.      

It was mayhem.  Cars were backed up, drivers were out of their cars, arguing over collisions. One man kept punching his phone and looking for emergency vehicles, not seeing any.  Maneuvering the car through the morass, with agonizing slowness, Jen edged around a final collision, this one serious.  Before, she would have stopped, but now she could see that in front of her the freeway was nearly clear.  She pressed her foot firmly on the gas. 

Jen did not stop until she saw on her car’s computer navigation screen she was out of the danger zone 20-miles later.  Eyes burning, she then took a longer, clogged arc route headed for Dwayne’s office. Telling the girls to keep their eyes shut and buried in their pillows, she began to sob, her chest heaving.  All three of them were still dressed only in their sleepwear, and barefoot. 

The story of Jen and her family continues, just as so many family stories end.  Their world had changed, their lives were redirected by events, still in process.  

The above text is a partial synopsis from the movie script, “19 Minutes,” copyrighted by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster, and now pending registration with the Writers Guild of America.  Direct any inquiries to Pillsbury-Foster’s agent, Brock d’Avignon at    

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Damage done by Hydrofluoric Acid

Commercial accident:  HFA was diluted to between 40-70%.  In this concentration HFA does not become gaseous. 

              Who is responsible for the continued use of Hydrofluoric Acid?

Oil corporations or LLC subsidiary Ranked by the number of HFA refineries owned in America:
Valero   9 HFA refineries
ConocoPhillips 6 (T. Boone Pickens is not active, yet can intervene for his water-pipeline legacy) 
PBF Energy    3
Tesoro         2 or 3 (one being acquired) 
ExxonMobil 2 (having sold some off to liability disposal allies like PBF) 
CHS/National Co-op
CVR Energy/Refining 2 (Carl Icahn 82%, advisor to President Trump versus carbon credits since HF refineries cannot make ethanol)  

all other refiners       13 own one HF refinery each among other holdings. For example, Charles Koch’s Flint Hills Resources as a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, owns 19 other modern H2SO4 catalyst refineries, but has had this one HFA refinery for over 20 years. Several of the others are single refinery operations. After an accident, they change ownership to keep locals off-balance, but never change their HFA depreciation business plan. 25% changed hands in the last 3 years. ARDMAC will see about that now. 

See AvertAlert Reinsurance Disaster-Mitigation by Acquisition Consortium (ARDMAC) Excel sheets for details on who to have some meaningful discussions with.  Available upon request to: EMAIL

Who We Are

We come from every point on the political spectrum.  If we lived within twenty miles of a refinery when we discovered what you have read here, we moved.  But many of us have family members still in danger.  

Our goal is holding the responsible parties accountable, enforcing restitution for the damage done to individuals and families, and cleaning up our air, water and land.  We are tired of a dialogue stuck on climate change when lives depend on getting off oil and becoming sustainable.   You can argue the point.  We are moving on to saving lives. 

Remember, for every dollar spent on ending pollution 20 – 40 dollars are saved on medical care.  Money is the cost which matters least, but money drives many to act.  

We analyzed the failures of the present system, and identified ways to establish liability for polluters.  The most consistent failures are caused by government. Through Congress, the polluting industries have been able to limit liability, in contradiction of the centuries old Common Law model for strict accountability. 

Through the EPA, polluters are routinely either excused from having done damage, or given hand-slap fines for enormous damage to people and the environment that never amount to more than 10% of the CEO’s salary. It is a show to persuade people problems are being solved. Given recent events, this is not going to change.  And when something is this important it cannot be left to bureaucrats.  The people must control their own data, for their own health and to ensure an accurate database is built.  

Protesting and petitions for redress for grievances have not, and will not work.  But enforcing accountability, and ensuring Americans understand these threats to our health and very lives, will.    

Eliminating petroleum must happen; first by forcing them to pay their real costs of doing business. Insurance companies can do a lot about these risks to others. 

Here is how real accountability works.   When the nuclear industry had its liability for any mistakes no longer covered, 4 years ago, safe designs were adopted and investment in nuclear energy began again. For the first time in 25 years, 3 nuclear plants are being built far safer than the ‘someone else pays,’ corrupt business era, when liability belonged to everyone and thus no one.  

We are not pro nuclear.  We do support strict liability for all damages done to people, air, water, land and nature.

Additionally, we need to begin a transition for all forms of energy and get serious about real sustainability, for the environment, for our own lives, and economically.  

We cannot wait for this to work for the oil industry, however.  The potential costs are too high.  
We can no longer tolerate HFA refineries, not for America and not elsewhere on Earth.  

Our plan is to take over the refineries, with enforced buy-outs, if necessary, and convert them.  Along with the conversion to 

We are approaching the reinsurance companies and collateral bankers for these investments.  We are putting together a team of experts to carry out these conversions.   

These conversions are a good start to ending pollution and cleaning up our air, water and land.  But more steps remain.  

Building an accurate database is becoming easier as the applications from technology advance. Today, CNN ran an article by Selena Larson titled, “Google uses Street View cars to collect pollution data.”
We need this data to keep the reinsurance companies informed on the real potential risks and ensure people get the medical help they need.  Technology is providing more tools to us all the time.  

Along with monitors which show you the Volatile  Organic Compounds (VOCs) pouring off refinery’s, we can record these locally.  This is one of the projects we have planned for, beginning in the 19 areas most at risk today. 

But there is more.  A study carried out EDF, Google Earth Outreach and researchers from the University of Texas at Austin outfitted Google (GOOG), utilized  “the Street View cars with environmental monitoring tools from Aclima to measure air pollution as they drove down neighborhood streets.”  The resulting study noted large variations in pollutants related to health clustered around specific kinds of businesses.  The pollutants traced were levels of Black Carbon, Nitric oxide, and Nitrogen dioxide, all associated with causing major illnesses. 

An accurate database, translate this to, “chain of evidence,” is essential for enforcing accountability for the polluting industries by all insurers. 

As to the marketplace, the work done was for the linked Global Burden of Illness Project that states that for every dollar spent on curtailing pollution, $30 to $40 is saved in medical costs. 

Our approach to this problem is both local and shared for multiple purposes.  We looked for ways accountability and sustainability were being impeded, first.  Then, we looked for ways we could solve the existing problems. 

 PACT People Act, is the local model designed to assist local areas to build an accurate database for individuals, litigation, and for providing to the insurance industry actuaries accurate projections for risk.  

Agents Green, working with PACT, provides more effective alternatives to petroleum-based products, coupled with information and interesting presentations to local residents.  

The insurance and reinsurance industry needs to accurately reflect real hazards and risks, and ensure these are reflected in their premiums.  Pollution of all kinds and its impact on our health, is one of these risks.

With Avert Alert we provide this service and make the industry aware of issues they have overlooked.   

If the oil industry had paid for the costs to people, air, water and land, oil would have become unaffordable and the alternative energy industries would now be farther advanced.  This was a massive fraud, carried out with the cooperation of our own government.  

Adjusting the costs to the oil companies and hitting them for liability will eventually solve the problem.  

But another problem we identified is mainstream acceptance of the facts.  

There is the continuous disinformation campaign, run by public relations groups, some outside the corporations and some working as divisions within corporations, to create what we call, “one-way ideological media.”   The distrust and disagreements over the facts, divide Americans today.  

Our tool for unity is based on interactive communication delivered through mainstream outlets in forms allowing broad participation with personal media seen on mass media. Gripes, half-baked ideas, always good for helping people learn to think through complex issues, and  better solutions, can occur when we debate and the audience can PhoneVote on the ideas, see the facts, and decide for themselves.  

Americans need to begin a dialogue with each other.  We aim to make this happen by inviting your ideas, questions, complaints, comments on both moral responsibility and legal issues, and sustainable solutions that are proven to work.   

Our first show is Congressional Clearing House TV, to be run on Freedom Interactive TV Networks. 

In each of us there are resources for succeeding with the innovations we bring.  We invite you to bring your personal commitment to the necessary work we have outlined.  Additionally, check the list on Freedom TV Networks.  Creativity and a passion for change is calling to each of us today - and if the world we know and those we love, are to survive, we need to act now.  

Join us, learn more about the problem.  

PS - If you can afford to donate here is the link. 


Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

Brock d’Avignon

Dave Lincoln 

A. Edward Foster

Chris Boehr 

Bob Lyon 

Lance Williams 

Steve Tvedten 

Gail Lightfoot