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!


Anonymous said...

Who on God's green earth would let their children play in the 20 Arpent drainage ditch? The gator's that live in Murphy's stormwater basins also traverse the canals. Beaware!

Concerned Citzens Around Murphy said...

Why does Louisiana allow Murphy Oil company to foul neighborhood canals and the nearby wetlands?

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