The explosion was likely due to a faulty valve. - MPR News screenshot

The explosion was likely due to a faulty valve.

MPR News screenshot

The Superior Refining Company reached a settlement of around $1 million in relation to the 2018 explosion at its oil refinery in Superior, Wisconsin. The explosion injured 36 people and caused a mass evacuation of 21,000 people.

The settlement could make those who were evacuated eligible to receive $150 in compensation each.

On April 26, 2018, the refinery was shutting down in preparation for a five-week turnaround when the explosion occurred, likely due to a faulty valve. The event sent several people to local hospitals with injuries. Firefighters extinguished the resulting fire in two hours. Noxious smoke covered the area and prevented residents from returning to their homes until 18 hours after they were first evacuated.

The $1 million settlement was reached in a federal lawsuit brought forward by three local residents who claimed they had suffered economic losses and other damages as a result of the incident and evacuation. As part of the settlement, the Superior Refining Company – which was owned by Husky Energy at the time and now owned Cenovus Energy – will not admit any wrongdoing.

Reports estimate total damages because of the evacuation at almost $10 million. However, the three residents settled because a prolonged litigation might delay compensation.

Adults living in the evacuation zone when the incident occurred are eligible to make a claim with payments limited to $300 per household. The three resident who brought the lawsuit forward will receive $2,000 each.