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The Latest: Health chief: No apparent danger from release

October 14, 2016 - 3:11 PM

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. - The Latest on smoke coming from a refinery in Denver area (all times local):

4 p.m.

Colorado's public health director says officials don't know enough yet about what was in the smoke released from a Denver-area refinery after a power failure to determine if it was hazardous.

However, Dr. Larry Wolk says authorities are reassured that Friday's release from the Suncor Energy, Inc. refinery was brief. He says it doesn't appear to pose any immediate threat to people nearby.

The Denver Fire Department says the company notified authorities that sulfur dioxide was released. A Suncor spokeswoman says an uncombusted hydrocarbon was released.

The company says it is monitoring the air around the refinery. It will have to report the cause of the malfunction and the emissions to the state health department.

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2:20 p.m.

The Denver Fire Department says sulfur dioxide was released from a refinery that sent plumes of smoke into the air after a power failure.

Suncor Energy says a power failure shut down its plant in Commerce City north of Denver on Friday and that the plumes were "visible emissions" from the refinery.

Suncor didn't immediately disclose what was released but Denver Fire Capt. Greg Pixley says the company notified authorities that they were releasing sulfur dioxide.

The Environmental Protection Agency says short-term exposure to the gas can harm the human respiratory system and make breathing difficult, especially the young, the elderly and those with asthma.

Suncor says it is monitoring the air around the refinery.

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1:41 p.m.

Suncor Energy says it is monitoring the air around its Denver-area refinery after a power failure shut the plant down, sending plumes of smoke into the air.

Spokeswoman Nicole Fisher says the power failure happened around noon Friday. She says the orange and black smoke clouds visible from downtown were visible emissions from the refinery. She didn't have details about what they were.

People in a 1.5-mile radius of the plant have been told to stay indoors.

The refinery produces gasoline, diesel fuel and asphalt. It can produce up to 98,000 barrels per day.

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1:10 p.m.

People near a Denver-area refinery are being told to stay indoors as firefighters respond to plumes of smoke from its stacks.

The Adams County Sheriff's Office says people within a 1.5 -mile radius of the Suncor refinery in Commerce City have been told to shelter in place Friday afternoon.

Plumes of black smoke were visible coming from an industrial area near downtown Denver.

The refinery produces gasoline, diesel fuel and asphalt from Canadian oil sands. It can produce up to 98,000 barrels per day.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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