Monday, April 28, 2008

Letter: Larger refinery would pose hazards
The Daily TelegramPublished Saturday, April 26, 2008

... unless I knew that those increased bouts of flu, bronchitis, headaches and birth defects in my neighbors, relatives and children were caused from toxins in the soil, air and water given off by Murphy Oil. Toxins such as hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, mercury and lead are known causes of these “minor” side effects that, when present in even tiny amounts (the EPA has a regulation of .053 parts per million for Nitrous Oxides), can cause miscarriages, blindness and death and are known waste products of Murphy Oil in Superior.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Murphy Oil Corp.: Massive Capital ReinvestmentMassive profits spur equally massive facilities projects for Arkansas-based petroleum producer/refiner.
By Brad Kenney
Feb. 7, 2008 --

{{ Murphy's plans show that the company is looking to bulk up refining capacity along both the Gulf Coast and the North Coast (in Wisconsin) as well, and in doing so is attempting to refashion its Superior, Wis.-based refinery into what refinery manager Dave Podratz calls one of "the cleanest, most efficient refineries in the world." }}

What we want in St Bernard Parish is the entire refinery expansion plan and for the Meraux Refinery and terminal to also be the cleanest, most efficient refinery. We dont want our neighborhood subjected to their poor trackrecord of environmental and performance standards compliance.

Murphy can certainly afford to upgrade the refinery in St Bernard Parish, reveal the entire refinery expansion plan and make the Meraux Refinery at least complaint with environmental regulations and local codes and ordinances. With over 7,000 corporate wide employees, the meager 300 fulltime employees at Meraux doesnot equal the type of permanent jobs this area would want .

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Make a Difference
Join and put a sign up in your yard.

Every signature on their petition and every members name on the membership list makes a difference. has grown to a nationally recognized group with support of many highly visible supporters in business and government.

Take a minute or two and go to the web site and read up.

Do you see anyone else pressuring the COE?

4 Investigates: Floodwalls stuffed with newspaper?
11:54 PM CDT on Thursday, April 24, 2008
Lee Zurik / WWL-TV News Anchor

Corps explains newspaper's use in floodwall
Joints are sealed outside, officials say
Saturday, April 26, 2008
By Chris Kirkham

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It is just amazing that the very neighborhood and firestation that didnot have any oil is now suddenly the exact property NEEDED for this expansion. Other .

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Earth Day 2008 APRIL 22nd

Join us to save our neighborhood on April 22nd 4pm at the Planning Commission Public Hearing for MOMR

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The green, green grass of our homes

Showdown: St. Bernard Parish President - Oct. 29,2007
Junior Rodriquez and Craig Taffaro


"There seems to be a name game being played between St. Bernard government, Murphy Oil and residents adjacent to the refinery.
At times the residential property bought by Murphy is referred to as "green space" and at other times it’s referred to as a "buffer Zone".
Green space implies trees, shrubs and flowers while buffer zone implies a space to restrict something unwanted. Which is it that you will work toward."

Jr. - Green space only. Council has the power and ability to pass an ordinance that that’s what it will be is green space. That’s what we need.
CT – Properties that are being bought out in the buyout zone are zoned R1 which means that there can be nothing but R1 development in that area. Murphy Oil has continued to tell us and the public they’re not getting into the housing market at all, so the idea of what that property can be used for is nothing more than what it is now and since it is not a 100% buyout at this point in time, there will be no other development there so it will be green space. Buffer zone means that that’s what that green space will be used for.
"I live on Lena Drive and would like to know about the 4 block area that Murphy Oil destroyed. What are you going to do about t he sidewalks that were pulled up and the streets that were destroyed. Don’t beat around the bush. Give us a straight answer."

Jr. – Should be repaired because Murphy Oil caused the problem and situation. Murphy Oil will repair sidewalks. That’s part of public demand.
CT – Where there are houses, there will be sidewalks. Where there are complete blocks that have been purchased and will be used as that green space in the buffer zone, those sidewalks needed to be removed for the maintenance of that property. But what we’re talking about is where there are residents still living between houses there will be sidewalks there. That’s not an issue. Murphy is giving us some resistance on that, but that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Where there are residents there will be sidewalks.

From meeting audio tape ; quote of Murphy defense lawyer on December 7, 2007 Housing, Redevelopment and Quality of Life commission where Murphy proposes to recieve direct transfer of LRA properties in our neighborhood...."Murphy is ...offered to buy that property from the LRA ... to be used as a buffer zone. It is not going to be used for refining or operating purposes in anyway shape or form.....everything is going to be removed all the way down to the slab. It will be graded, filled and then eventually a grassy area. And its all going to be property that's going to be the buffer zone."

Friday, April 11, 2008

storm water issues

The spill (redux)

by Max37, 04/11/08 9:06 AM

Re: There are by withabeard, 04/11/08 9:06 AM

With warm regards and due respect, Mr. Beard:

Topic #1

Is it not true that Murphy had no oil spills go off refinery property BEFORE Katrina?

Is it not true that Murphy had no oil spills go off refinery property since they started back up AFTER Katrina?

I'll concede that their not filling the tank contributed to the spill if you'll concede that Katrina caused the spill.

Topic #2

Murphy cleaned up their spill. Who cleaned up all of the other spills in the area? Anyone?


#1 Murphy Oil had spill go off refinery property in July 2005 with a bypass of the wastewater into the neighborhood canal. Also, many serious problems with the tank farm noted in public record prior to Katrina.

#2 Murphy has not cleaned up the spill. Murphy chose to scape six inches of land in only certain areas of the specific class action area. The class action area is hardly the entire contaminated area.

UPDATE:  Murphy Oil's own documents can't hold four inch rain
above link to June 2011 storm water study.  

Murphy Oil's June 2011 storm water study concludes the piping at outfall #15 does not provide adequate capacity for the peak flow rate resulting from a 25 year rain event. Further, recommendations include:

- increase capacity of the west ditch

-provide a means to retain storm water to prevent sheet flowing off property

- remove a significant portion of the drainage basin acreage to the "west ditch" by redirecting or impound storm water by additional ponds or tankage

-increase capacity retainage of storm water basin on north tank farm property and route a new culvert from the west ditch to these basins.

Ground water and soil contamination in neighborhood.

Ground water and soil contamination in tank farm.

Refinery flooding neighborhood in 2009.
around the 4:14 minute mark

Refinery flooding in Isaac 2012.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Posted on the RDC website:

The eagles have landed...........thanks to the watchful eye of Alvin Siener and the skill of photographer Chris Holmes the following pictures were taken earlier this week along the 40 arpent canal near Despaux Drive. According to Alvin, there were initially two eagles. When Chris arrived, only one remained.More.

This wooded area by Despaux and Jacob Drives and the 40 arpent is a natural wetlands area of to St Bernard Parish and to the Battle of New Orleans.

It is also the proposed site of an ambitious tank farm expansion. We need our council representatives to preserve and protect our district for future generations.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Villere Plantation: Home of Louisiana's 2nd Governor (First Native Governor and First Creole Governor) Occupied by British Forces Gen Pakenham in 1814 Historic Trees along the Panel Ditch and linear canal and Historic Brick Structure Ruins in the wetlands north of the 20 arpent canal. Site of the actual British Invasion route for the Battle of New Orleans .

Villere Plantation: Home of Louisiana's 2nd Governor (First Native Governor and First Creole Governor) Occupied by British Forces Gen Pakenham in 1814
The Villere Plantation home was located on the South Side of Judge Perez on the current Meraux refinery processing campus. It burned in the 1930's. In the community of Meraux, St Bernard Parish Louisiana between the 20 and 40 arpent canals, on the western border of Meraux, at Magistrate Street and Jacob Drive: Magistrate Street is the continuation of the natural waterway Panel Ditch. This was the actual British Invasion Route for the Battle of New Orleans. British General Pakenham's forces used the Panel Ditch and the linear (north - south) canal to the east of the Entergy utility pole easement to reach the Villere Plantation and the Mississippi River.
Historically significant and worth preserving the trail or invasion route and its historic trees run along the length of this linear canal from the rightofway along the 20 arpent to the rightofway along the 40 arpent. In the 19th century ditches like the Panel Ditch were used in St Bernard Parish to delineate areas which were more desirable for cultivating crops from those that were less desirable. This wetlands area below {or north} of the Panel Ditch and before the cypress swamp was used to cultivate rice, as these fields tended to stay flooded.
The historic brick structure is a drainage machine which would drain the more desirable fields for crops such as sugar cane and lumber.
Where Magistrate Street ends and one could enter the property, this was the Panel Ditch. Just to the East of the Entergy utility pole easement, there is an Historic brick structure and associated historic oak trees. The brick structure is the ruins of the drainage pump for the Villere Plantation.This drainage machine was used to drain the fields and the smaller linear ditches to the bigger canals. The canals were used to float cypress lumber down to the sawmills. The Villere Plantation had such a timber crop and a small saw mill. The plantation also had the cash crops of sugar cane and rice.
(Notes from St Bernard Parish Historian, Mr William Hyland)

Interesting Links to Villere's History
map of Villere, Lacoste, Chalmette, Jumoville Plantation property lines of plantation home that was south of judge perez dr
villere's bio (8 children)
page 40 of this book states the plantation was taken down for a sewage plant, Mr Hyland disputed this and stated the plantation burned in the 1930's on the Meraux refinery plant grounds South of Judge Perez
Notes from Mr. William Hyland St Berand Parish Historian
Our Neighborhood presented OUR VISION today at the St Bernard Parish


A long range plan of our neighborhood’s revitalization—What we envision for our grandchildren and future generations and the keystone commitments of this council’s decisions to preserve our heritage, our natural resources and our residential neighborhoods for tomorrow.

In District C, we are the subdivisions nestled between our community's only high school,Val Reiss Park and the heavy industrialized refinery.
We need a balance. We don’t have the luxury of previous land-use planning. What we have is an opportunity to create a balance and to preserve that balance.

The Ohio Street area is within a school zone, yet our children have no sidewalks on these four streets (Jacob, Despaux, Ventura, and Lena). Furthermore, these are the very four streets some propose to add more industrial use and industrial traffic. That would not be the proper balance.

For the roughly 80 homesites on these four streets, we envision a domiciled next-door-neighbor purchase program to increase lot sizes giving us the opportunity of re-establishing our neighborhood feel. For those properties not offered for residential redevelopment, we would like them dedicated for neighborhood community greenspace, so the children have a place to play other than in the street. For other lots not offered for residential redevelopment, we would like a conservation easement entered on the land title to provide the commitment to a greenspace buffer from this most-hazardous processing side of the refinery.

We also envision lots more trees. We need more trees for air purification , soil detox and to provide a visual buffer as well as a noise buffer. Further, we need the installation of a noise-abatement wall. We also need Murphy Oil to comply with local performance standards and environmental regulations.

Floral Estates, north of the 20 Arpent is progressing and we need the same commitments for residential zoning. We also need for these four residential streets to remain "open access," with no zoning changes.

In the section of the oil spill where the land is cleared and remediated, we see an opportunity for a corporate and community sponsored commemorative and historic parkway, with walking paths and bird areas, with an abundance of trees to further purify the air, ground water and soil. We envision an added mature tree line as a visual buffer to the tank farms and we propose a commemorative sign ....not defining us by this oil spill disaster, but rather as a tribute to the spirit of the people of our parish and the ability of this industry, parish government and our people to come together and implement real solutions.

We have recently learned from our distinguished parish historian, Mr William Hyland, that the wooded area north of the 20 arpent is of national historic importance. is associated with the actual British Invasion Route in the Battle of New Orleans. Not only are there numerous historic trees similar to the Pakenham Oaks at the EXXON/Mobil refinery, but there are remains of a historic brick structure from the plantation. Mr Hyland could best elaborate on the significance of this land and how the historic tree line and structure could be placed on the National Historic Registry.

The council and residents can work with the industrial property owner to pursue a community benefits agreement, which should include a commitment to our environment, our heritage, our natural resources and our residential neighborhoods.

So, we ask the council and administration to:
§ preserve the integrity of our residential neighborhoods and residential streets,
§ amend the to designate greenspace,
§ commit to our residential district with no zoning changes,
§ enforce performance standards,
§ preserve the historic tree line and historic brick structure,
§ adhere to the master landuse plan of a greenspace non-utilized buffer and
§ take this opportunity to create the balance we need to protect our children from the hazards of this refinery

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Great post on the and how neighbors and neighborhoods will make the difference.

Also, Islenos' Fiesta Pics byHip

Friday, April 4, 2008

Friday April 4th Not good conditions for the coming heavy rains tonight.

Just another expample of Murphy's commitments beyond its fenceline.

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