Thursday, December 31, 2009

air emissions

EDMS 45084199 Dated 12/30/2009 Incident T120404 #2 SRU Malfunction on 12/23/2009
automatic safety shutdown reported as result of apparent malfunction in the SRU main burner - 2.6 hours event estimated emissions 3,090 pounds SO2

EDMS 44922598 Dated 12/16/2009 Incident T119999 #2 SRU Malfunction on December 9 2009
automatic safety shutdown reported as result of apparent malfunction in the SRU main burner flame detectors - 6.5 hours and resulted in SO2 emissions estimated at 10,800 pounds

EDMS 45084186 Dated 12/29/2009 Incident T120412 Dec 24 2009 300 barrel crude oil spill at Tank 250-1
on December 24 2009 at approximately 00:30 hours. Estimated spill 300 bbl; release to air 9.3 bbl; release to ground 50.7 bbl....conducted air monitoring....and detected no VOC and benzene levels. There was no impact to waterways.

EDMS 44926543 dated 12/21/2009 Incident T120104 Dec 14 2009 storage tank cover collapsed
31,274 pounds of VOC's and 616 pounds of benzeneOn December 14 2009 there was a release of 10,967 barrels of gasoline to the roof of Tank 200-1( state hazmat Dec 14 2009 storage tank roof collapsed. ) For approximately 2.8 hours until the tank was pumped down to its lowest level, initial estimated emissions are 31,274 pounds of VOC's and 616 pounds of benzene.

EDMS 44922633 Dated 12/18/2009 T120127 December 13 2009 diesel oil release into neighborhood canal.
No quantity of diesel released nor benzene or VOC emissions reported. On December 11 2009 Murphy was forced to open Outfall 003 due to prolonged rains. also reports on December 13 2009 Murphy Oil made a discovery of oil in a neighborhood canal. Murphy Oil discovered a release of diesel-like oily water on the 20 arpent canal, reported by Murphy Oil as ""presumably from Outfall 003"".The refinery storm water outfalls on page two of the flowchart indicates emergency outfall 003 due east of the Collin's Pipeline area. Collin's Pipeline is a joint venture of EXXON-Houston and Murphy Oil Meraux. To the west of Collin's Pipeline area is the municipal storm drainage pipe which released the diesel oil into the neighborhood canal, named 20 arpent canal, where it intersects Jacob Drive. It is unclear at this time how the diesel oil entered the municipal storm water system. There is no quantity of diesel released nor benzene or VOC emissions reported.
Residents have requested water, soil and air sample results from Louisiana Dept of Environmental Quality. It is unclear if any samples were taken by the state department.During the same time Murphy Oil Tank 250-2 was scheduled for a cleanout with use of a temporary, portable diesel fuel tank EDMS 44548567.

EDMS 43986164 Dated 10/26/2009 Incident T118824 Oct 19 2009 crude oil spill tank 250-1
130 barrel crude oil spill Tank 250-1 on Oct 19 2009 released to air 12/4 bbl; released to ground 11.6 bbl; estimated emissions 3.91 benzene; 3907 pounds VOC's (Residents called both Murphy Oil and LDEQ to come to the neighborhood about high level of chemical's present; both refused. Murphy reports their subcontractors were monitoring the air).

EDMS 44138747 dated 11/13/2009 Incident T119342 Oct 14 2009 FCCU leak (Late Report - also Benzene emissions rescinded EDMS 44922731 Dated 12/10/2009)
Cat Craker Unit leak releases 44,000 pounds hydrocarbons with 155 pounds benzene from Oct 14 - 17 2009 --- leak at upper manway in #2 FCCU Reactor (Cat Cracker or Hydrocracker) --Application of steam to disperse the vapors. First attempt to repair the leak failed on Oct 15 2009 and leak apparently worsened. Specialty group arrived Oct 16 2009 to measure the manway and access the leak. On Oct 17 2009, as Murphy awaited that repair, the leak worsened, so Murphy shut down the FCCU as a safety precaution. The vendor installed the clamp on Oct 18 2009. The leak was estimated to have lasted 74.5 hours from approximately 09:00 hrs on Oct 14 2009 to 11:300 hrs on Oct 17 2009 when the unit was shut down.Estimated hydrocarbon emissions 44,000 pounds with 155 pounds of benzene. Murphy Oil rescinded notification of benzene release Dec 10 2009. Murphy reported to the National Response Center that this event resulted in the release of benzene in excess of the 10 pounds reportable quantity. Murphy Oil provides Dec 10 2009 update to rescind benzene release notification citing CERCLA 101(14) for exemption from reporting benzene emissions.

EDMS 43622670 Dated 10/05/2009 Incident T118251 #2 TGT Bypbass 09'/27/2009
automatic safety shutdown of #2 SRU apparently due to hydrocarbon breakthrough into the unit. Event 4.2 hours; SO2 emissions estimated at 159 pounds - below reportable.

EDMS 42595515 dated 7/30/2009 T -- SERO 09-04035 July 26 2009 NAPHTHA spill into Mississippi River when there was a malfunction of the unloading hose at approximately 23:30 hours

EDMS 42478747 dated 7/20/2009 T116405 July 13 2009 approximately 10:45 hours maintenance activity on Vacuum Heater - Vacuum Hot Well off-gas routed to flare; estimated SO2 emissions 2,015.5 pounds over 23:40 hours

EDMS 42274096 dated 7/02/2009 T116011 release of Freon CFC R-22 for about 0.5 hours

EDMS 42133553 dated 6/01/2009 T115235 Hydrocracker shutdown May 24 2009 EDMS 42728461 dated 07/31/2009 ; automatic safety shutdown of Hydrocracker Unit triggered by unexpected and sudden shutdown recycle gas compressor; compresor trip found a malfunction occurred during automated switching between logic controller cards. ;resulting SO2 estimated emissions 4,000 pounds in 30 minutes from 4:00 hours to 4:30 hours; the vented material was mostly hydrogen and the release occurred at night; would not be expected to cause adverse offsite impact.

EDMS 40802838 dated 3/23/2009 T112823 Hydrocracker shutdown February 18 2009; EDMS 41177485 dated 4/28/2009 ; automatic safety shutdown of hydrocracker unit triggered by the unexpected and sudden shutdown of recycle gas compressor; compressor trip found that logic controller card malfunctioned due to manufacturer defect; 4,000 pounds SO2 emissions over 30 minutes

EDMS 41161349 dated 4/28/2009 T114001 #2 FCCU reversal on Feb 25 2009, resulting in reportable quantity release of MSDS solids and heavy hydrocarbon vapors; estimated emissions within 30 minutes 35,000 pounds heavy hydrocarbon vapors, 5,165 ounds catalyst, 1,750 pounds particulates

EDMS 39500086 dated 1/22/2009 T110526 Hydrocracker and #3 SRU Startup Oct 31 2008 - Nov 4 2008 Resulted in emissions of sulfur dioxide estimated at 14,983 pounds over 29.5 hours during the five day time frame. Murphy reported the level of resulting emissions would not be expected to cause an adverse offsite impact.

EDMS 39896674 dated 1/16/2009 T112011 # 3 SRU incinerator flameout Jan 13 2009 Brief flameout of the main burner on #3 SRU Incinerator; estimated resulting emissions at 215 pounds of SO2 and 15 pounds of H2S - non RQ

EDMS 39896700 dated 1/16/2009 T111906 Refinery Power Interruption Jan 9 2009;The power interruption lasted less than one second, but triggered safety shutdowns in several units resulting in SO2 estimated esmmions at 235 pounds as well as visible emissions."The power interruption is under investigation. Unplanned shutdowns of units in this manner are undesirable to the refinery, so Murphy is determined to identify and correct the root cause.

EDMS 39500110 dated 1/14/2009 T109794 # 2 FCCU wet gas compressor malfunction Oct 3 2008 ; SO2 emission 1,575 pounds

EDMS 40849944 dated 4/03/2009 T113643 #2 FCCU Wet gas compressor trip March 24 2009 ; apparent result of mafuncition in boiler, triggering steam imbalance and shutting down the steam turbine powering the wet gas compressor; no reportable quantities (RQ) ; no allegations of impact in the surrounding community, just one citizen call inquiring.

Louisiana Dept Environmental Quality website
right hand column menu EDMS
Murphy Oil Meraux refinery AI # 1238

Because We Care

for the health and safety of all people in our parish, those who reside, work or visit; and

Because we want what any other neighborhood wants: clean air, clean water and uncontaminated soil; and for family and friends to live peaceful lives;

We are committed to continue until sustainable solutions are implemented.

Best Wishes for 2010

Townhall Meeting Schedule Change

due to schedule difficulties, the DEQ has canceled and will reschedule the air monitor program presentation
....stay tuned for update
Tuesday Jan 12 2010 10 AM-
Council Conference Room CANCELED

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Serious violations at Meraux refinery

OSHA cites Murphy Oil U.S.A. for alleged safety, health violations

Serious violations at Meraux refinery have not been corrected since OSHA's 2007 inspection.
"OSHA inspectors found that the Murphy refinery often did not respond to deficiencies that had been pointed out during internal safety audits."

Published: 12/30/2009

MERAUX, La. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Murphy Oil U.S.A. Inc. with alleged serious violations of federal health and safety regulations following an inspection at the company’s facility on East St. Bernard Highway in Meraux. Proposed penalties total $85,500, a news release said. OSHA’s Baton Rouge area office began its investigation July 7 as part of OSHA’s National Emphasis Program for Petroleum Refineries.
The investigation resulted in 18 serious violations, including failing to provide an adequate relief sy...

Today's Rain Forcast

rain forcast for New Orleans area up to 2 inches

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

oil sheen and discharge

December 26 2009
no offsite protective action at release site
oil sheen in discharge from municipal pipe; distinct fuel smell
booms line canal further west

Friday, December 18, 2009

oil in Florida Canal

PARKLAND — It's taken more than seven months, but the city said it now knows why oil and tar balls, just smaller than golf balls, wound up in a canal by the Ranches neighborhood
Full story: South Florida Sun-Sentinel by Huriash -

comments on Florida spill: One can only imagine the birth defects and tetarogenesis that will afflict Parklanders due to this spill. Already incidence of fibromyalgia and migraine is up in the area.

NOTE: St Bernard Parish residents have reported to the State Regulators, Local Fire Department and anyone else who would listen since 2007 - there is oil in the 20 and most recently, oil was also reported in the Jacob Canal.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Air Monitoring Townhall Meeting

due to schedule difficulties, the DEQ has canceled and will reschedule ....stay tuned for update
Tuesday Jan 12 2010 10 AM
-Council Conference Room
8201 West Judge Perez Drive - Chalmette

CCAM will host a Townhall Meeting and Present Information on the St Bernard Parish Ambient Air Montoring Systems.

Read the LA DEQ 2009 Report - St Bernard Air Monitoring Project and the departments recommendations to shutdown some of the monitors.The primary purpose of this project was to investigate what caused odors, if odor causing compounds are air toxic and if their concentrations in the ambient air in the Chalmette area are in compliance with the sate and federal ambient air quality standards. In addition, the DEQ was fully to use its facilities to monitor for ozone and fine particulate matter PM2.5 and investigate other compounds such as benzene and 1,3-butadiene that cause no odors at lowered concentrations but are of great health concern for long time exposure even in lower concentrations.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


DEQ looking into oily discharge

St Bernard Parish Council's Tuesday December 15, 2009 Meeting, Parish President's report confirmed collapsed cover on storage tank at Murphy Oil in weekend rain events. Corrected action plan includes booms, monitoring and pumping. Update report to include how the oil release was connected to the municipal storm drainage system and accessment of proper notification to parish officials for releases, so to notify residents. Councilmember reported his update from Murphy Oil indicated the refinery is in the process of writing plans for spills and containment procedures for high water events. The release remains under investigation by the state agency. The amount of oil and water released and the tank number is unknown at this time. Reporting a pungent diesel or chemical smell in the neighborhoods around Murphy Oil, residents say the refinery denied any problems and asked the local fire department be called instead.

This is the third occassion in recent months that residents are aware of the refinery's inability to handle rainfall. This is the second time residents called the refinery and were told there were no problems only to discover later there were oil releases.

cloudy, tan discharge flowing quickly on Tuesday

Monday, December 14, 2009

Neighbors of Troubled Refinery Demanding Changes

Cloudy with a chance of Oil

Concerned Citizens Around Murphy
For Immediate Release

Murphy Refinery's Accident Sickens Neighbors

Coast Guard Notified
Neighbors of Troubled Refinery Demanding Changes

(Meraux, LA) Providing still further evidence of its inability to properly manage its refinery during rainfall, Murphy Oil released oil water into the neighborhood canal known as the 20 Arpent Canal. Though details of the spill remain murky, residents on Jacob Drive south of Judge Perez felt the chemical exposure as early as 1 AM on Sunday morning. The exposure continued throughout the day. "Residents on Jacob Drive North of Judge Perez (by canal) reported being sick all morning," said Suzanne Kneale, an officer with Concerned Citizens Around Murphy.

This latest release comes on the heels of last week's Common Ground report that detailed Murphy's high accident rate - one per week - over the past four years. The most well known of its accidents was the 2005 million gallon oil spill, the largest land based oil spill in history. "This latest spill is part of a pattern," said Anne Rolfes, Director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. "We're in South Louisiana yet Murphy can't handle rain."

In addition to Murphy's pattern of accidents, this latest spill highlights both the state and Murphy's failure to address the problem of human exposure during chemical accidents. Despite feeling the health impacts, no one was evacuated. "My neighbor contacted me just before noon that her sister was sick all morning from the strong chemical smell," said Ms. Kneale.

Residents are calling for a comprehensive review of evacuation protocol. Residents also want the refinery to reroute the storm water and oily water discharges so not to foul neighborhood canals and nearby wetlands with every rain event.

"Neighborhood children scoop and fish from this canal," said Ms. Kneale. "It's not uncommon to see crab traps in this area. The central wetlands are just a block further north. Allowing an emergency discharge into neighborhood canals is not protective of the environment and undermines our health."

Murphy Oil spill in neighborhood canal December 2009
Check out this slideshow on Photobucket!

chemical smell penetrates homes in Floral Estates subdivision

61074. Smell by nomrgo, 12/14/09 10:59 ET
nola townhall forum

I live down the street from where the latest Murphy bungling happened. We were not home overnight on Saturday.

When we got home on Sunday just before the start of the game, we walked into our house and were immediately hit with a strong odor inside of our house.My wife and I both said that it smelled like oil. (Yes we are both highly aware of what that smells like!)

We had absolutely no idea that any incident had happened at Murphy. We checked the house for sources of the smell, but could not locate any. I then just assumed that perhaps with the rain the night before, the sewer may have backed up and it was just sewer gas we were smelling.

After the game, I was made aware of the USES trucks and workers down the street at the 20 arpent. I went over there and observed the oil booms in the canal and the workers hosing the stuff towards a pickup pump.

A brown oily looking substance was floating on the surface of the canal, both inside and outside of the containment booms. The odor was very strong and exactly what was smelled in my house. I took photos.

So Max and FatNutria, *** ***. I have a right to live in my own home without the expectation that I will routinely be poisoned and subjected to hazardous materials by a refinery who continues to have one screw up after another. They are incompetent.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

oily water release to neighborhood canal

According to DEQ Single Point of Contact, the Murphy Oil Meraux refinery called in an emergency release of oily water into the neighborhood canal, the 20 arpent, at Jacob Drive. Clean up crews were on the scene most of today.

The discharge was from the same municipal storm drainage pipe which released a white opaque discharge on December 7 2009 (shown below). The rain event last night was the third time that residents are aware of Murphy Oil not containing its storm water runoff.

more photos - oily water release

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Permit Modifications and Objections

In August 2009, on behalf of Concerned Citizens, Tulane Environmental Law Clinic submitted comments to LA DEQ asserting Murphy Oil's SO2 emissions calculations incorrect . If the SO2 and VOC emissions were appropriately calculated, "the proposed modifications to Murphy Oil USA Inc's Title V air permit will result in emission increases above thresholds for 'Prevention of Significant Deterioration 'and will therefore require additional controls to protect public health and welfare."

In October 2009, LA DEQ issued the final permit modification and on December 10, 2009, students at Tulane University's Environmental Law Clinic sent, on behalf of CCAM, a formal Petition to EPA Administrator to Object Permit .

Murphy Oil's permit modification is to construct and operate a BenFree Unit to adhere to a new EPA mandate for lower benzene in gasoline products. Concerned Citizens believe clean fuel shouldn't cost air quality .

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dept of Environmental Quality Presentation

Tuesday Jan 12 2010 10 AM -

Council Conference Room

8201 West Judge Perez Drive, Chalmette

CCAM will host a Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Presentation on the St Bernard Parish Ambient Air Montoring Systems through DEQ's Community Outreach's EnvironSchool.

Read the LA DEQ 2009 Report - St Bernard Air Monitoring Project and the departments recommendations to shutdown some of the monitors.

The primary purpose of this project was to investigate what caused odors, if odor causing compounds are air toxic and if their concentrations in the ambient air in the Chalmette area are in compliance with the sate and federal ambient air quality standards. In addition, the DEQ was fully to use its facilities to monitor for ozone and fine particulate matter PM2.5 and investigate other compounds such as benzene and 1,3-butadiene that cause no odors at lowered concentrations but are of great health concern for long time exposure even in lower concentrations.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

environmental integrity

Major Victory for Refinery Communities: EIP Praises EPA for Withdrawal of Flawed Refinery Risk Rule - Oct 21, 2009

EIP and other groups called for EPA to reverse the decision because it was based on a gross underestimate of emissions. For example, new remote sensing technologies that directly measure air emissions show that refinery releases of toxic air pollutants can be as much as 100 times higher than EPA predicts.

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