Monday, February 25, 2008

The St. Bernard Recreation Corp. and St. Bernard Recreation Dept.

have set a date to host a 2nd Clean Our Ball Parks Day. The date is Saturday, March 8th at 8:00 a.m. Please meet at Patricia Park in Arabi. We plan to work on a few ball parks that day. Please bring lawn equipment (rakes, weedeaters, shovels, etc.) if possible. If not, equipment will be supplied. Refreshments will be served. If you are interested in participating, please feel free to send me an e-mail with your contact information.

The first Clean Up Day was held at Carolyn Park and was a great success. To see pictures and read the story about the first Clean Up Day, visit ( We want to keep the momentum going so all parks are ready for baseball season which is right around the corner.

Thanks in advance for helping us rebuild our Ball Parks

Sunday, February 24, 2008

going beyond the requirements of law

Murphy Oil Meraux Refinery (MOMR) has submitted plans to build a laboratory beyond their fenceline on the corner of Jacob Drive and St Bernard Hwy (in the court ordered "intended" buffer zone" - on the property acquired post Hurricane Katrina - post crude oil spill).
""The intent of the buyout program is thus to create a buffer zone between the Murphy Oil refinery and the community and remove the most heavily contaminated properties from residential use."" page 29

This move of facilities into our subdivision presumably makes room for more processing units on the existing refinery campus; possibly clearing way for a refinery revamp to comply with anticipated New EPA Rules for Gasoline Limit Benzene, a Carcinogen . Their previous Clean Fuels Project expansion ( for lower sulfur) has left thousands of pounds of sulfur and hundreds of pounds of hydrogen sulfide in our neighborhood from their . There are still issues that need to be addressed in their and replacement tanks with areas of concern preKatrina. ( )

Their complying with all environmental and local regulations codes and ordinances would protect our neighborhood from this .

It is expected that Murphy will apply for a zoning change public hearing sometime soon. Zoning changes typically are introduced as an ordinance in a Council Meeting (Next meeting March 4, 2008 7pm) and then 30 days later the Council takes final vote. Meanwhile the property owner apply's for a zoning change through the planning commission. The planning commission has it's own public hearing to decide on criteria of the zoning change. Answers to our public documents requests have indicated there are none at this time.

Even today, with both the remediated properties and the properties of this refinery/terminal and tank farms , we find MOMR noncompliant on the same issues previously cited. Their compliance would protect our welfare, safety and environment, improve our quality of life and preserve our neighboring homes from an encroachment which otherwise would only permeate and pervade a decades long struggle for domiciled residents' quality of life next to heavy industry. Read Comments to LDEQ Hearing regarding environmental compliance.

We seek the new administrations wisdom in decisions, and pray that their findings and action on will hold industry accountable to the same high standards; accountable to their domiciled neighbors, the people and the community of the Parish of San Bernardo.

Friday, February 22, 2008

positive contributions to the communities

To Welcome Murphy Oil Meraux Refinery (MOMR) to Residential District C, some volunteers planted trees to help remediate the oil spill properties and bring Murphy into compliance with the buffer zone landscaping ordinance . Our new neighbor's response was less than cordial as they strongly suggested the trees be removed in a way that they could be reused elsewhere. Or, so they say, Murphy will remove the trees themselves leaving little or no future use for the trees.

Other tree tales and donated tree projects have been unable to take root due to

While Rediscover District C and Concerned Citzens Around Murphy have continued to invite Murphy Meraux refinery to participate in our community cleanups and tree planting programs, they have yet to accept.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

In their seemingly purposeful misseedings of residential lots, Murphy failed to properly fill and seed the lot next door to residents who are active members in our neighborhood group. These residents are now still subjected to the daily presence of transient workers and have not forgotten the sheriff reports and arrests of workers from these very crews who carried guns, trespassed and stole. These are the same crews who in April and May were stopping residents on their daily strolls through the neighborhood to urge them to sell their homes to MOMR and also to firmly tell them not to walk the neighborhood anymore explaining in both cases that the entire area would be a fenced off refinery.

Its been 2 1/2 years since Murphy Oil Meraux Refinery (MOMR)'s irresponsibility caused the worse residential crude oil spill in America and the remediation crews are still not finished. No one resident watching this escapade can recall the contaminated soil of the properties North of Judge Perez being excavated. And while these properties may have been "released for intended purposes" through LDEQ's unique new MO classification for RECAP levels before demolition, we question why no one resident witnessed the excavation. Soil from the few remaining structures north of Judge Perez have not be excavated. We question if it is possible that the soil was just covered over with the sand fill and not removed. Is this why they wont plant ? Because the depth of the tree planting would distrub contaminated areas of concern? LDEQ officials contacted this week requested specific addresses to followup our concerns (will keep you posted) .

While the rest of St Bernard Parish is debating the new high grass fines , this is the best explanation as to why the grass will grow on the north side and not the south. MOMR left the soil with its rooted grass on the north of Judge Perez. The south side soil was excavated and the crews left these lots unseeded through the winter. Remember, there was no oil South of Judge Perez, just this complicitous land grap for expansion.

The company refused to plant grass sodding as requested by the neighbors and have instead made ridiculous efforts to keep all the mud sediment runoff out the streets and storm drains and still there is mud everywhere. Murphy crews were working with shovels this week to remove the mud and will likely do the same with the coming rains this weekend.

Its quite comical to see the shovel brigade followed by a water pressure truck every time it rains. With all the weather in the last few weeks it has to be more expense to put up all these silt fences, bales of hay and straw, all the added man hours. Grass sodding such as St Augustine sodding for the first foot or two from the curb would have completed this project months ago; presumably leaving the crews no excuse to continue to harass the neighborhoods. Some lots were left since this Summer without proper fill levels and the company's subcontractor admittedly stopped seeding the lots with grass seeds due to the approaching winter . These residents want their new neighbor to feel welcomed in the district but expect them to control the mud and add landscaping. Perhaps we can help Murphy Oil Corporation make these positive contributions to the communities .

more or less on the horizon

FROM 2008   


02/21/08 11:34 AM
The people of St. Bernard deserve to be informed by their elected officials. Residents of District C, who are and have been for many years concerned about the expansion of industrial giants and the poisonous emissions from the manufacture and refining, have indeed been lied to by their elected officials. The stone walling and lies of deception continue to this day. When even one resident asks, " what is being built here?" he has a right to be answered. Our neighbor, Murphy Oil USA is going to build a lab on the site of the old Campagna Skiff Company location. We were NEVER given an opportunity, as a neighbor or neighborhood to examine the plan, ask questions or express our concerns. To offer input now is obviously an insult. As I stated before it was a done deal. Probably years in the making between our government and that industrial giant. Encroachment. A nasty word. But it is happening. Murphy, in moving it's lab from the river side of St. Bernard Hwy (probably to expand it's plant) now finds that the location where they plan to build the new lab is not large enough to accommodate parking. They want to (ENCROACH) on to residential property. They want a zone change. After everything said about greenspace, and bufferzone. Our government continues to play along with the plan. The Murphy plan.Our parish president and council members as well as zoning and planning commissions need to remember who pays them. Or is that exactly what they are doing?

The refinery was originally located on the other side of the highway and the land behind the neighborhood was not zoned for industrial use.  Then over the years there were a series of wise decisions to allow more and more industrial zoning changes further and further away from the river and into the backyards of our community. The processing plant doubled in the 1970's and several large additions including a clean fuels process began in the late 1990's early 2000's. How did the Parish ever allow these units to be constructed so close to family dwellings??
Let's not make the same mistake again with warehouses, administration buildings, parking etc. on Jacob Drive; that land was purchased with the pretense of a green zone buffer and a good neighbor would honor that agreement.  Any other use makes the Parish further liable.
Above, EPA Region VI map of oil spill
Notice the area just west of the processing plant was not "in the oil spill" but this is the area most often pushed by parish officials to participate in the buyup.
Above, SBPG map of oil spill

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

National Relief Network's volunteer was in St Bernard Parish two weeks ago with 400 high school student council leaders volunteers and dozens of trees to help remediate the oil spill properties. According to these plans were unable to take root due to political problems so they planted the saplings at the LosIsleños Museum Complex in St. Bernard Village

Around America neighborhoods customarily welcome new neighbors to the area. A recent trend is Gorilla Landscaping: since the new neighbor is presumably still adjusting with the move and all, the neighborhood helps by implementing landscaping. We'd like to offer simular assistance to MOMR to help achieve complaince on a number of items and perhaps even help going beyond the requirements of law

Who knows? MOMR may even recieve the .
Because we care, we have committed to rebuild our homes and our neighborhoods better and safer so that future generations will have the opportunity to live their peaceful lives in this community.

Because we care, we not only strive to preserve the integrity of residential neighborhoods for the future but also to preserve the environment and resources for tomorrow and beyond.

Because we care for those future generations' welfare and safety and also for clean air, clean water and uncontaminated soil, we question noncompliant issues with our industrial neighbors.

Because we care, we petition the people that be to hold this industry accountable to the same high standards in the very letter and spirit of (the law) the settlement, federal regulations, state statutes, local codes and ordinances.

Because we care we sincerely seek solutions to industry's trespasses which have resulted in de minimis regards to our quality of life; de minimis regards for domiciled neighbors and neighborhoods in the community of St Bernard Parish, Louisiana.

Because we care for each neighborhood that makes up a vital part of our community, we have an unwavering commitment to change that once current line of thought that certain neighborhoods could be sacrificed to special industry interests with little or no public notice and without answering why.

Because we care we ask why would we even think about sacrificing any one of our community's neighborhoods that came back after all that mother nature handed us?

no drawn plans

Murphy Oil Meraux Refinery (MOMR ) 's comments in the St Bernard Parish Council Meeting April 17, 2007 was that the buyout area is designated as green space. They did not say anything about refinery expansion, parking lots, administration building or any of the other rumors we were hearing.

MOMR 's comments to the June 19, 2007 expansion permit were " The proposed project, as permitted, doesnot include any construction in the area which the company acquired after the Hurricane Katrina." And yet by the end of June, officials were talking about expansions on Jacob and Despaux Drive simultaneously dispelling this as rumor by stating they had no drawn plans.

MOMR officials December 2007 request of the State owned LRA properties to be directly transferred to MOMR for use as a grassy area for a buffer zone. When questioned in the St Bernard Housing Authority meeting we were reminded that officials had been careful with their words regarding any expansion and that existing zoning would protect our neighborhood.

MOMR 's officials stated in LDEQ public comments February 11, 2008 that their "project will not expand Murphy ". MOMR 's officials February 19, 2008 stated they had renderings for a lab to be constructed on Jacob Drive and had applied for within the last two weeks permits to construct on the property acquired after the Hurricane Katrina. We now question if this is an application for this area as an Economic Enterprise Zone to take advantage of any GO Zone Bonds?

We have requested but not yet received copies nor the opportunity to view these public documents at this time. With their explaination that it was Murphy's intention to make the best use of the land it acquired and felt the laboratory (which is Heavy Industrial use in this residential area - where people actually revitalized post hurricane) was an enhancement to the area. They must think they are making a contribution to St Bernard Parish by bringing this area back , not as a neighborhood, but as industry. They were also quick to say this was just a way of life.

We really have to agree with Murphy on this one; this is their contribution to the people of St Bernard in this area. They destroyed our residential subdivisions with their oil and actually persuaded some of us that the crude oil on our properties wasnt theirs or wasnt enough for them to have to remediate. This very area would be back if it werent for Murphy's mishandling of its product; Not only the Jacob Drive area, but truly all of District C and the St Mark's Community.

If Murphy 's own oil had not spilled into the homes of these neighborhoods the area would be revitalized. These homeowners who chose to participate in the voluntary buyout were told the land would be used as greenspace to buffer the hazards of the refinery from the neighborhood; not to expand the hazards closer to other homes and closer to the ONLY High School, just 14 blocks away.

wonder if they are also applying for any GO Zone bonds or tax credits for bringing this post Katrina development to our front yards?

Friday, February 15, 2008


Because We Care, RDC and CCAM encourage all residents to participate in these five public forums to form partnerships to implement solutions for our community's environment.
Read More Information on

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Join Our

We are still hoping for the same improvements that were achieved on the west coast
Some of these improvements should come with proper preventative maintenance and the turnaround in 2008 at the Murphy Oil Meraux Refinery. They are not however permited to use the flares for anything other than emergencies (even for preventative maintenance or construction). So there should be a good explanation for yesterdays (February 12, 2008 )incident.
Together We Can

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

RDC Meeting Wednesday February 20th at 7pm
CCAM Meeting Tuesday February 26th 6:30pm
St Bernard Parish Residents are invited to Join District C's Residents at the RDC Rediscover District C Meeting Wednesday February 20th 7pm in the Council Office Trailer. RDC is launching its third year of resident led committee projects to focus efforts on our parishes' revitalization, beautification, and community connection. We invite you to become part of this effort as we move forward in 2008 with the momentum to continue to rebuild our parish, our community and our homes. For more information visit the website:
CCAM Meeting Tuesday February 26th 6:30pm
Lena Drive South Bring a chair
Join us with SBSO Charlie Borchers to reform Neighborhood Watch in the Flora Estates, James Place, Despaux and Ventura, and Sandra Park Subdivisions

Nomination of Officers and Update on LDEQ Hearing

Monday, February 11, 2008

True Team Spirit

The St. Bernard Recreation Corp. is commended for establishing a community wide effort to for all the children of St Bernard Parish. Their leaders have been partnering with the St. Bernard Recreation Dept. who were joined by many individuals (including some RDC 's regulars) and other groups to clean and refurbish our ballparks; starting last Saturday with Carolyn Park (Arabi) . One notably present was St Bernard's own Ms. Polly; coordinator of the Community Playground Re-Boot, Re-Pair, Re-Build, program scheduled for April 8-13 at Torres Park.
Scott Meuser, President, Board of Directors of the National Relief Network was also as energetically present as he has been ever since early post storm days. Scott has been working with various volunteer groups across the country to aid our recovery efforts and can be reached at . There were also donations which included tree planting projects in the Murphy Oil Spill neighborhoods. I met Scott at the Carolyn Park (Arabi) Clean Our Ball Park Day (Saturday) with his volunteers who were high school students from across America.  Basically he said, the tree planting efforts have not been able to take root "due to political problems".

Next BallPark Day in about two weeks -- Keep Posted to for park and date. Bring your usual supplies, tools, equipment and Good Attitude St Bernard !!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Volunteers Needed

46708. Clean Our Ball Parks - Volunteers Needed by SBRCORP, 2/6/08 20:54 ET

The St. Bernard Recreation Corp. is partnering with the St. Bernard Recreation Dept. to clean the ball parks in St. Bernard Parish. We will begin with Carolyn Park (Arabi) this Saturday, February 9th at 8:00 a.m. If you would like to volunteer, please call Sabrina at 583-6000 or just come to Carolyn Park (Arabi) Saturday morning. Refreshments will be served.
Bring your usual supplies, tools, equipment and Good Attitude St Bernard !!

Whose IN? or is it Who's on First?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

coker unit

Posted on the RDC Website Message Board
Author: MattDate: 2/3/2008 3:47 pm
--> -->
There is no Coker unit in this application. Murphy considered one in a previous application, but withdrew the request. There are no plans to permit one. The tanks north of the 20 Arpent are already permitted, but not built. Therefore, neither falls within the scope of the Public Hearing on Thursday, but that is at the discretion of the LDEQ Hearing Officer. The current application is to replace 4 tanks, and to move one tank. Overall VOC emissions will be reduced due to improved pollution controls on the tanks. There are no other activities in this permit application.

Friday, February 1, 2008


Because We Care, RDC and CCAM encourage all residents to participate in these five public forums to form partnerships to implement solutions for our community's environment.

The first meeting of St Bernard Parish's EPA C A R E Grant forums is scheduled for February 23, 2008 and will be a whole community workshop on the CARE program and the EPA’s voluntary programs. Participants in this workshop will be asked to identify their chief environmental concerns in the community for future facilitated meetings under the Parish’s CARE program, and to participate in future meetings.

Displays will focus on issues related to the present environment condition of the Parish as well as issues related to rebuilding, such as energy efficiency and green building; and providing information about complimentary state and federal programs, such as the Department of Energy’s rebate program for purchasing energy star appliances.

For More Information visit

Meeting Dates:
February 23, 2008 , 10am to 3pm
March 29, 2008, 10am to 2pm
May 31, 2008, 10am to 4pm
June 28, 2008, 10am to 1pm
July 26, 2008, 10am to 1pm

All Forums will be conducted in the presentation room on the second floor of Chalmette High School, 1100 E. Judge Perez Dr.

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