Bio-assay of Pontiac Refinery's Effluent and Determination of Its Effects on the Marine Environment in Corpus Christi Bay - Pollution Abatement in Region V
Pontiac Refinery has a toxic waste that empties into Corpus Christi Harbor at a rate of 500 gallons per minute. The most toxic substance present in this waste is a phenolic compound that has a direct toxic effect on aquatic life. Beds of oil sludge formed by the waste settling on the bay bottom are indirectly toxic, since they reduce the dissolved oxygen content below the survival level of 4.0 parts per million, a level below which many vertebrates and invertebrates cannot survive. Natural purification and dilution of the waste by harbor water reduces the toxic level of the pollution load, restricts the contaminated area within the cove to 300 feet beyond the outfall and minimizes damage to the marine environment.