Friday, October 24, 2008

MRGO Ecosystem Restoration

Public Scoping Meetings Monday November 3, 2008

MRGO Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is hosting public scoping meetings to gather public input on the MRGO Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study.

The Corps is conducting a study that will result in a comprehensive ecosystem restoration plan aimed at restoring and maintaining habitat areas affected by the MRGO navigation channel.
Please join members of the Corps' study team to learn more about the study, the issues associated with the restoration activities, and the possible solutions under consideration to address these issues.

Meeting Agenda

Open House 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Introductions 7:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.
Small Break-out Groups 7:15 p.m. - 8:15 p.m.
Group Reports 8:15 p.m. - 8:50 p.m.
Wrap-up 8:50 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Chalmette, LA-
Monday, November 3, 2008
C.F. Rowley School 49 Madison Avenue Chalmette, LA 70043

Waveland, MS-
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Leo Seal Community Center 529 Highway 90
Waveland, MS 39576

Written comments may also be submitted through November 20, 2008 to:


Web site:

MRGO Ecosystem Restoration EIS Manager, CEMVN-PM-RS
P.O. Box 60267, New Orleans, LA 70160-0267

MRGO Ecosystem Restoration EIS Manager, CEMVN-PM-RS
7400 Leake Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118-3651

Published in The St Bernard Voice Friday Oct 24, 2008 (scan copy)

Corps to rebuild wetlands

The Army Corps of Engineers has proposed spending $66.4 million to rebuild wetlands along the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet and in Lake Borgne and also armor part of the lake's shoreline.

Corps to rebuild wetlands as part of MR-GO closure
by Mark Schleifstein, The Times-Picayune Thursday October 23, 2008, 10:12 PM

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Waste Transfer Station Permit Hearing

Public Hearing for SDT Permit Application

PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE The St Bernard Voice October 17, 2008

"Public Hearing For Waste Storage, Treatment, Transfer Or Disposal Facility"
The St. Bernard Parish Council is hereby notifying the citizens of St. Bernard Parish that a public hearing will be held on the 18th day of November, 2008 at 11 :00 a.m. at the St. Bernard Parish Council Chambers located at 8201 Judge Perez Drive, Chalmette, Louisiana 70043.

The purpose of the meeting is to gather facts, opinions and other input regarding the permit application or renewal thereof.

The following items will be available for viewing and discussion at the public hearing:
1). Copies of the application and all attachments will be made available to the public at the office of the St. Bernard Council Building at least thirty (30) days prior to the hearing.

Any interested person shall have the right to comment verbally or in writing at the public hearing. Written comments will be accepted and entered into the public hearing record for five (5) working days after the hearing. Accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities and non-English speaking persons provided those persons request said accommodation 3 days prior to the public hearing.

St. Bernard Parish Government is an equal opportunity employer.

Citizens unable to attend this hearing may submit their views, proposals and comments in writing to: Mr. Wayne J. Landry, Council Chair St. Bernard Parish Council 8201 W. Judge Perez Drive Chalmette, LA 70043

October 17, 24.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Have Katrina's lessons been learned or have mistakes been repeated?

In 2005, "Katrina demonstrated that hurricanes and refineries are not a good mix" {1} and building refineries and tank farms close to established subdivisions is poor planning. With the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP ) and the use of pipelines, the tank farms could be relocated and refinery expansions could occur outside these vulnerable zones.

Yet, as early as September 2005 Murphy Oil Meraux refinery continued to meet with LDEQ for its tank farm expansion plans in the flood plain closer to the MRGO, and in 2006 the local council sent the Army COE a letter of no objection for this project.

Concerned Citizens opposed to the tank farm expansion have requested soil subsidence mitigation, berm improvements and anchoring of tanks to prevent another catastrophic event.

Have Katrina's lessons been learned or have the mistakes been repeated?

{1} Another interesting article by CAIN BURDEAU :

Are Houston's petrochemicals safe from hurricanes?

Associated Press Writer © 2008 The Associated PressOct. 6, 2008, 11:28AM

Sunday, October 5, 2008

another lesson learned

AP Investigation: Ike environmental toll apparent
10/5/2008, 9:01 a.m. CDT

The Associated Press

Ike was not the first storm to illustrate the need for a commitment of more responsible operations from heavy industry located along the Gulf Coast: a commitment to implement available technology to reduce toxic releases from planned shutdown and startup modes and a commitment to prevent tank farm spills from the known risks.

The article reports "... by far, the most common contaminant left in Ike's wake was crude oil "..."About half the crude oil was reported spilled at a facility..." where "...surge from the storm flooded the plant, leveling its dirt containment wall and snapping off the pipes connecting its eight storage tanks".

""Air contaminants were the second-most common release, mostly from the chemical plants and refineries along the coast."

From both Hurricanes Gustave and Ike in our Chalmette, Louisiana neighborhoods, residents were subjected to excessive shutdown/startup emissions from the storm preparedness plans of both neighboring refineries EXXON dba Chalmette Refinery, LLC and Murphy Oil Meraux refinery. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality had secured the community's air monitors in preparation of both storms and the air quality readings didnot resume until sometime after Ike. Residents believe the air monitoring would have shown high toxic readings during these shutdown/startup incidents; excess emissions that could be reduced with available technology.

In the Hurricane Katrina, the Murphy Oil tank lifted and the berm or secondary containment dike failed. The foundations of more than one tank had settled over time and even before 2005 the tank farm had soil and ground water concerns due to previous releases.

With the replacement of the and the further north into the flood plain closest to the MRGO , we requested improvements not only with controls and monitors for emissions and releases but also for soil subsidence mitigation, berm improvements and anchoring of tanks to prevent another catastrophic chemical spill.

We believe these are given the known risks. Residents who have returned to restore their lives and revitalize their community are still dealing with the consequences of the oil spill. Heavy industry(s) that have returned to do business are expected to rebuild safer and smarter and to operate on a more responsible level.

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