The City of Texas City ordered a shelter-in-place on Sunday due to a “chemical release” at the Marathon Galveston Bay Refinery.

“A shelter-in-place has been issued south of Marathon GBR to the Texas City Y, due to a chemical release. Avoid driving through the area. If you are in the affected area, please remain indoors with all doors and windows closed, and turn off your heat or A/C until further notice,” the City of Texas City said Sunday morning.

According to KHOU 11, the refinery had a “temporary increase in sulfur dioxide emissions.”

“Out of an abundance of caution, the shelter-in-place remains in effect for the area south of FM-519 to the Texas City Y, due to an incident in progress at Marathon GBR. There are no residential areas affected, and no air monitoring readings that indicate danger to life or health,” City of Texas City added.

KHOU 11 reports:

According to Marathon, there was an “operational upset” at its Galveston Bay Refinery that temporarily increased sulfur dioxide emissions.

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Read the company’s updated full statement:

“Marathon Petroleum personnel at the company’s Galveston Bay Refinery have resolved an operational upset that had led to a temporary increase in sulfur dioxide emissions earlier today. Emissions have returned to normal levels. There were no injuries. The City of Texas City has lifted a shelter-in-place that it had issued for an area south of the refinery.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, short-term exposure to sulfur dioxide can impact people’s respiratory systems and make breathing difficult. People with asthma are sensitive to the effects of sulfur dioxide, especially children. At high concentrations, it can damage trees and plants.

The city first posted about the shelter-in-place at 9:15 a.m.

“The shelter-in-place has now been lifted. All roadways are open, and there is no longer a need to shelter in place. All air monitoring readings in the affected areas and throughout the city are normal. We will continue to monitor the situation closely,” the City of Texas City said in an update.

Per Fox News:

Drivers were urged to avoid the area. Officials said several intersections are barricaded and traffic will not be allowed through. Since the order was lifted, officials said all roadways have been reopened.

Officials told KTRK-TV that sulfur dioxide was released but did not elaborate.

Emergency officials were at the scene and closely monitoring the situation, city officials said.

Texas City is located in Galveston County along the southwest shoreline of Galveston Bay.

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