Saturday, March 29, 2008

Interesting article at Political Environment blog
with equally good links for anyone following the Murphy expansions in either city (Wisconsin or Louisiana)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Two different cities and yet so much is the same.....

OPINION: Fully understand risks posed by Murphy Oil expansion
By MELISSA MALOTT, The Daily Telegram
Published Saturday, March 08, 2008


A bigger refinery poses the potential for a bigger catastrophic accident

We don’t know what Murphy will produce and emit into the air and water, nor what the facility would look like. It would be helpful if Murphy provided updates about the data and decisions they are contemplating, as the community and state would have to live with the consequences of this refinery. In the meantime, we have a responsibility to find out the potential risks of an oil refinery expansion, and be prepared with the tough questions about what this will mean for our state’s citizens and natural resources

The Political Environment:

No OSHA Inspections At Murphy Oil For A Decade Bef...

The Political Environment No OSHA Inspections At Murphy Oil For A Decade Before 2007? Not Comforting, As Expansion There Looms
Murphy Oil, USA - Meraux Refinery
" Refinery Expansion / Coker and Associated Facilities" Project - Changes to Fugitive ComponentsBased on information in meeting on September 6, 2005

LDEQ EDMS 33525655 page 312

" Refinery Expansion / Coker and Associated Facilities Project Description
October 17, 2005 Hand Delivered

LDEQ EDMS 33525655 page 10

Can we trust their statement that they withdrew the coker request and there are no plans to permit one? Look at the dates of these documents: where were we while the refinery was meeting with LDEQ?

Should we trust this corporation when they state to the LDEQ that they have no intentions of using the residential properties aquired in the federal court ordered settlement? When their own attorneys state in federal court and council meetings transcripts that the intention is for a grassy buffer area? That they will plant grass eventually on the remediated lots adjacent to domiciled residents on the four streets west of the refinery? Should we trust that they will not apply again for more processing units and perhaps a coker? Should we trust that our library land and our firestations (purchased with our tax dollars, dedicated to constructing a library and firestations by vote of the people) will not be used as a political gift for the entire refinery expansion plan? A plan that the powers that be have decided to sacrifice one of our revitalized neighborhoods for?

We will measure trust by how this international corporation abides by our local codes and ordinanaces and by the state regulations and statutes.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Refinery Expansion at Cost of Our Neighborhood

The Houston Chronicle article "OSHA uncovers slew of refinery violations" ( link below) might be the reasons why Murphy Oil Meraux Refinery will claim they NEED to move "facilities" into the ;onto Despaux and Jacob Drives, into our neighborhood. This encroachment will breech the crude oil spill settlement. We all know they are to our residential district, presumably to make room for an expansion of 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 . The Meraux Terminal has already recieved modifications to its air permit to store ethanol, which will allow ethanol blending to be conducted at the Meraux Terminal.

Yet Murphy owns more land within the existing fenceline and could reconfigure its campus for safety without displacing those of us who have rebuilt our community postKatrina. The refinery doesnot NEED our homes for safety; they WANT it for expansion.

Presumably again, these life threatening "explosion cones" and high hazard zones are suddenly justifying a processing expansion at the sacrifice of our revitalized neighborhood. The refinery had no problem with these safety hazards until their complicitous land grab post Katrina. The refinery had no problem with these safety hazards when they added their Clean Fuels Process in the early 2000's, or in any of the many following fires and explosions.

The Murphy Citizens Advisory Panel resumes for the first time since Katrina its meetings this week. We need the community emergency response committee to resume, too. Both of these partnerships of industry and government need to be open to the residents, open to the public. Hopefully the refinery makes public its total expansion plans, its general chemical emergency preparedness and prevention provisions, and how this will affect our local fire and emergency protection levels. As citizens we have the right to know.
Civil Enforcement and Chemical Accident Prevention Enforcement

Quoting from the Houston Chronicle article below:
""In OSHA lingo, a willful violation is among the worst. It involves an alleged blatant disregard of or indifference to an obvious safety hazard. ""
""OSHA has alleged that Frontier El Dorado Refining Co. had committed one "willful violation" by locating a permanently occupied structure in a high hazard zone among refinery processing units""

Let's hope our Parish Council has the wisdom and the fortitude to deny any zoning changes which moves any part of this refinery into our residential district . To do otherwise would not only lower the buffer and place the next explosion closer to our homes, but their disregard to our welfare , health and safety would make them liable.

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