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ATSDR Press Room

ATSDR Finds Hudson Refinery Site No Longer a Health Hazard, Cushing, OK

Payne County, Cushing, Oklahoma

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.

Now, however, human exposure to contamination is below a level of a health hazard since the chemicals have been removed. 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 (DEQ).

In the report, called a 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:

  1. Hazardous chemicals and structures leading to the 1999 public health advisory have been removed.
  2. Occasional trespassers are not expected to experience adverse health effects from exposure to contaminants in sediment, surface water, or surface soil.
  3. 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:

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

The public health assessment is available for public review and comment. The assessment can be viewed at, and at these 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.

Comments must be made in writing to:

Chief, Records Management Activity
1600 Clifton Road, N.E. (MS E-60)
Atlanta, Ga. 30333

Written comments are due to the agency by May 31. The public comment period is an opportunity for residents to comment on agency findings or proposed activities noted in the assessment. Comments received during the public comment period will be entered into the ATSDR administrative record for this public health assessment. Comments received, without the names of individuals who submitted them, and ATSDR responses to the comments will appear in an appendix to the final public health assessment. Names of those who submit comments, however, will be subject to release for requests made under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

Community members who have questions about the report can contact Health Communication Specialist LaFreta Dalton or Environmental Health Scientist Jill Dyken, toll-free, at 1-888-422-8737. You may also call ATSDR’s Regional Representative Jennifer Lyke in Dallas at 214-665-8362. 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, Oklahoma
Release Date: 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.

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