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A pelican injured during Hurricane Harvey sits on a bridge Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Port Lavaca, Texas, with an oil refinery in the background. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The winds and floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey may cause environmental and public health safety problems due to storm damage that could be long-lasting. What to watch out for:

Danger from chemical facilities: "Hurricane Harvey's winds and floodwaters have created emergencies at chemical facilities across the Houston area, from an Exxon Mobil roof collapse at its massive Baytown complex to the risk of an explosion at a chemical plant northeast of Houston," via a report from the Houston Chronicle last night. Shell reports it has released 100 pounds of benzene and toluene each due to a sinking roof.

Increased pollution from spike in air releases: Politico looks at chemical releases that are triggered from the shut down of petrochemical plants, as well as other impacts from the storm.

  • "Hobbled oil refineries and damaged fuel facilities along the Gulf Coast of Texas from Tropical storm Harvey have released more than two million pounds of dangerous chemicals into the air this week, adding new health threats to Houston's already considerable woes," including carcinogenic benzene and nitrogen oxide, they report.

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

5 hours ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.