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ATSDR Press Room

ATSDR finds Hudson Refinery site no longer a health hazard, Cushing, Oklahoma

Payne County, Cushing, Oklahoma

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Residents near the Hudson Refinery site in Cushing, Okla., may be exposed to site-related contaminants, but at levels too low to pose health risks, says the federal Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The site previously posed a past public health hazard due to long-term exposures to hazardous chemicals on the site.

Now that the chemicals have been removed, exposure to contamination is not expected to be a health hazard. Not enough information exists for ATSDR to determine whether long-term health effects could occur in people who may have been exposed to those chemicals in the past.

The site is a former refinery that operated from 1922 to 1982. Hazardous chemicals left at the site led ATSDR to issue a public health advisory in 1999 and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct emergency removal actions. Long-term cleanup is currently being conducted by EPA and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.

In the public health assessment, ATSDR evaluated environmental data, use of the site and community concerns to determine how contaminants could affect public health. The agency concluded:

  • Hazardous chemicals and structures leading to the 1999 public health advisory have been removed.
  • Occasional trespassers are not expected to experience adverse health effects from exposure to contaminants in sediment, surface water, or surface soil.
  • Because no one is using site groundwater for drinking, it poses no hazard. The levels of some contaminants in groundwater are high enough to warrant further evaluation before being suitable for drinking water or other use.

ATSDR made the following recommendations:

  • Fencing and warning signs should be maintained to discourage trespassing.
  • Further investigation and/or cleanup of the site is warranted to ensure its safety for future uses.
  • Groundwater at the site should not be used unless it is fully characterized and treated to meet drinking water standards.

The final assessment, which includes and addresses public comments received regarding an earlier report, can be viewed at, and at the following locations:

Cushing Public Library 
215 N. Steele Ave.
Cushing, Okla.

Tulsa City County Library 
400 Civic Center
Tulsa, Okla.

City Hall
100 Judy Adams Blvd.
Cushing, Okla.

Community members who have questions about the report can contact ATSDR Regional Representative Jennifer Lyke at 214-665-8362 or Health Communication Specialist LaFreta Dalton at 1-888-422-8737. Callers should refer to the Hudson Refinery NPL Site.

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Related PHA & HC For this Press Release

Hudson Refinery NPL Site
Document Date: 6/22/2006 - PHA  [PDF]

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Related News Releases For Payne County, Cushing, Oklahoma


ATSDR Finds Hudson Refinery Site No Longer a Health Hazard, Cushing, OK
Release Date: Monday, April 24, 2006
Exposure to site-related contaminants at the Hudson Refinery site in Cushing, Okla., does not exist at levels high enough to pose public health risks to nearby residents, says the federal Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry. The site posed a past public health hazard due to long-term exposures to hazardous chemicals on the site.

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