Thursday, July 31, 2008

Murphy Oil Meraux refinery is applying for state sales tax incentives through the Louisiana Enterprise Zone program. According to our reporting resident, Murphy's representative stated at the St Bernard Parish Economic Development Committee's July meeting that its application is to perform maintenance and upgrades within the fence line of the facility. By applying through the state it affords them the reimbursement of state tax dollars for materials purchased for the $60 million project labor excluded.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Summary No. 2174

Recommended for introduction by: EFC on 6/ 0/08
Introduced by: Council on 6/17/08
EFC recommended APPROVAL on 7/9/08

An ordinance to ordain Administration not to entertain any zoning changes in the Murphy Oil buffer zone/green space until a MasterPlan is presented by Murphy Oil USA.

WE Petition St Bernard Parish Council for no more zoning changes regardless of whatever plans the refinery may or maynot say they have. Refinery encroachment into our neighborhood not only lowers the buffer, but it places the next fire and explosion that much closer to our homes.

A true protective green zone buffer is supported by the Parish Master Landuse Plan recommended by the CRC , adopted by the Council and used in previous landuse decisions. Most residents are adamantly opposed to this concept of and disagree that a petrochemical refinery's facilities would serve as a buffer for their protection or benefit.
A recent letter to the editor explains how and yet We are also for our neighborhoods.

Given the information from the , the parish's proposed and the ordinance on in Summary No 2174, perhaps our parish council will show support for our neighborhoods too.

We have a for our homes and our neighborhoods since early Fall 2005 and presented these plans to the full council at an EFC Meeting. Regardless of whatever plans the refinery may or maynot say they have, we are committed to our revitalized neighborhood.

We petition the council to amend Summary No 2174 for no more zoning changes, to support our homes and our residential neighborhoods, our residential streets and to preserve our protective greenspace.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

we have no plans for the residential properties acquired after Katrina

Posted by ( StBernard4ever ) on July 5, 2008 at 9:03 a.m.

Even after the worse residential crude oil spill in America, Murphy Oil USA, Inc is expanding their tank farm without changing the foundation or berm designs; not even anchoring so the tanks dont lift in the next flood. The expansion is on what seems to be lower land that is closer to the MRGO (the Mississippi River GulfCoast Outlet that is considered the hurricane floodwaters alley). Most of the homesites were cleaned by Murphy and placed back into residential use. Properties on the four streets west of the refinery were given an option to participate in the Murphy buyout program. Although Murphy had stated in Federal court that the property would be used for a green zone buffer, the refinery already has plans for expansion into this established, revitalized neighborhood, starting with a petrochemical testing lab.



Author: recovery citizenDate: 3/8/2008 5:00 pm
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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 in council meetings 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.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

first buffer zone committee meeting

more than just fillin' up
A St Bernard Parish Planning Commissioner Chairman, whose business has contracts with the Meraux refinery, commented at the first Buffer Zone Committee meeting about the new administration's fillin' lots relocation programs to reduce the parishes footprint of redevelopment and how our neighborhood would have to face it: we would be treated as if this were a natural disaster and be part of this relocation program.

Residents in higher flood risk areas that also have a low return of residents would be offered fillin' lots as relocation to another area with lower flood risk and higher return. Fillin' lots are the LLT or LRA ( Louisiana Land Trust    and Louisiana Road Home Authority ) residential properties sold to the state through Federal Grant programs after Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. LLT properties will be offered for sale first through the Lot Next Door Program {  SBPG LND Program . } before being placed on the open market. Fillin' lots will be given consideration for this trade to relocate within the parish in an effort to fill in areas of higher return and rebuild.

As our Council and Administration trade our neighborhood, it helps make room for what most likely will be an ambitious Murphy Oil Meraux refinery expansion presumably to include a application and upgrades to comply with the anticipated
New EPA Rules for Gasoline Limit Benzene, a Carcinogen .

Our only high school is now 14 blocks west of the Meraux refinery. If this expansion results in the same emission exceedances of the clean air act as the clean fuels project allegedly has, will most of of our high school students and neighborhood children have petroleum coker dust filling their lungs?

Given the historic past of this refinery, what type of future are we willing to trade for?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Keep Safety in Our Footsteps

We need to keep safety in our footsteps of rebuilding.

Last week's RDC meeting with the firechief revealed not only the lower number of firefighters in our local department and at both the major refineries, but also the lower number who actually reside in our parish. So to respond to a major accident at a heavily industrialized business we will have to call in backup from neighboring parishes.

What are we doing with pending expansions to keep safety a priority?

As the council and administration consider a Refinery Expansion at Cost of Our Neighborhood , they are presumably making room for an ambiguous expansion that will have an irreversible effect on us all.

Our community's only high school is 14 blocks from this refinery. Both middle schools are to the east. To travel east or to come up west, you have no choice but to drive thru the or the terminal and processing area.

We know the historic past of this refinery.

What are we doing other than false promises and ambiguous word games, to assure a safer, more responsible future?

As our government leaders help us press for the entire refinery expansion plans, we ask them to please keep our safety in mind.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

irresponsible planning

As St Bernard Parish Planning Commissioners begin discussions of changing
our code of ordinances they are considering what would be a new concept for
St Bernard Parish : a required "buffer zone" around heavy industry.
There are discussions towards defining this "buffer zone" landusage as a
commercial district and not a true protective greenspace. This would be out
of the norm. Other heavily industrialized parishes require any where from
600 feet to 2,500 feet of a nonutilized landscaped greenbelt to protect
their residents from the known risks of explosions and fires.

Most residents are adamantly opposed to this concept of commercial usage of
the buyout properties and disagree that a petrochemical refinery's
facilities would serve as a buffer for their protection or benefit.

We have the opportunity to create and to preserve a true protective green
zone belt on the most hazardous side of the Meraux refinery. To allow
anything else in not only bad planning, it is irresponsible and makes the
parish further liable. 


http://six.pairlist.net/pipermail/stbernard/20080710/018470.html

Thursday, July 10, 2008

define Murphy Oil Buffer Zone

As St Bernard Parish Planning Commissioners begin discussions of changing our code of ordinances they are considering what would be a new concept for St Bernard Parish : a required "buffer zone" around heavy industry. There are discussions towards defining this "buffer zone" landusage as a commercial district and not a true protective greenspace.

This would not only break our settlement agreement, it would bring hazards closer to our homes instead of providing protection. A true protective green zone buffer is supported by the Parish Master Landuse Plan recommended by the  CRC , adopted by the Council and used in previous landuse decisions. Most residents are adamantly opposed to this concept of commercial usage of the buyout properties and disagree that a petrochemical refinery's facilities would serve as a buffer for their protection or benefit.

Other heavily industrialized parishes in this river region require any where from 600 feet to 2,500 feet of a non utilized landscaped greenbelt to protect their residents from the known risks of explosions and fires.

We have the opportunity to create and to preserve a true protective green zone belt on the most hazardous side of the Meraux refinery. To allow anything else in not only bad planning, it is irresponsible and makes the parish further liable.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Refineries in Wetlands

excerpt fromTHE SCHOOL OF BIG STORMS
The High Cost of Compromising Our Natural Defenses and the Benefits of Protecting Them
Refineries in Wetlands (page6/7)
The Gulf Restoration Network (GRN)
The Sierra Club


"The lesson from this case is that industrial developments
need to have good hurricane response
plans that involve getting the plant properly
secured and shut down. Furthermore, building
refineries in wetlands close to a residential area in a
hurricane zone is not good planning
. We must
consider future consequences when siting new
businesses. As communities rebuild, we need to
make good social and economic decisions to
ensure both prosperity and safety."



With the replacement of tankage at the Murphy Oil Meraux refinery Judge Perez tankfarm, so too should be the implementation of foundation and berm design improvements. Just think how different District C may have been if the tanks' foundations had not settled over time, the berm (or burm) had not failed or if the tank had not lifted. Shouldnt we now have better designed berms and tank foundations with anchoring?

Big Oil -- Little Neighborhood

BIG OIL

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