Friday, January 22, 2010

C A R E for St Bernard

C A R E forums Pollution Reduction Plan 2008 (page 26)

Permitting issues regarding emissions were a great concern to residents.

Discussed in detail at the March 29th meeting with experts from different air quality and health fields, St. Bernard Parish residents may be exposed to more air pollutants than the average American citizen.


Citizens Recovery Committee Master Plan April 2006

pg 12 Canals and Drainage
pg 15 Hazard Mitigation and

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Our Story

Concerned Citizens neighborhood association in St Bernard Parish, Louisiana, began as a means to have our voices heard in District C postKatrina. Our area captain was clearly instructed in early 2006 to 'not invite' those returning, rebuilding residents from the streets closest to the refinery. Shortly afterwards, Murphy Oil's tank farm expansion plans public noticed and the neighbors decided to form the association to address quality of life issues; more specifically those of our community's environment. CCAM members began to join with other neighbors for neighborhoods to effect the ever changing decisions that empact our community by encouraging citizen participation and providing advocacy for all residents who are committed to return, rebuild, and remain in St Bernard Parish, Louisiana.

Later we learned of the council resolution for a letter of no objection to the Army Corps of Engineers for Murphy Oil to construct this tank farm expansion on what seemed to be lower lying lands with natural waterways or wetlands. The tank farm expansion is slated for an area adjacent to established residential neighborhoods and seems to have no improvements for spill containment, storm preparedness, nor soil subsidence. So much for lessons learned.

Returning in 2005 after hurricanes Rita and Katrina, parts of our neighborhoods were not included in the oil spill maps. Murphy Oil executives went door to door to greet residents and give assurances their area had no oil, the household items were not contaminated, it was safe to clean out one's own home, and there would be no buyouts. The area was repopulated during Fall 2005 and some neighbors were actually fortunate enough to celebrate the Christmas holidays inside restored homes.Two years later a voluntary buyout would be one of the many options of a class action suit, Turner v Murphy Oil. The defendant's attorneys stated at the Fairness Hearing that the buyout properties would be a green zone buffer and the newspapers reported this as greenspace. At Community meetings and Council Meetings, it was continually and consistently purported as "greenspace". Any talk of industrial buildings and other commercial use of the land were firmly disputed by refinery representatives who insisted it would be "greenspace, that was the plan". People made agreements based on this understanding that it is this empty greenspace, now in existence, which is to function as the buffer.

Demolition of the buyup properties caused restored homes to have structural damage claims and yet another wake of destruction on our residential streets. Illegally placed cement truck weigh stations and less than best business practices added insult to injury. Only half of the sidewalks have been restored and the children are left to play in the same streets that some propose to add increased industrial traffic.

Further illuminating the local politics and poor zoning, heavy industry is still allowed within 100 feet of residential properties, however, new rental laws require single family dwellings, when rented out, to be specially permitted and spaced 500 feet apart. Noise ordinances have been updated for music speakers but not enforced for industrial sources.

Our Future, who knows. Let's just hope the levees are rebuilt to a higher level of integrity.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Murphy Oil air emissions update

10,800 pounds SO2
December 9 2009 3:30 to 10:00 automatic safety shutdown of the #2 SRU...result of an apparent malfunction in the SRU main burner flame detectors...root cause is under investigation at this time...Event lasted 6.5 hours and resulted in SO2 emissions estimated at 10,800 pounds. The wind was from the WSW at 10-15 mph. EDMS 44922598 incident T119999

3,090 pounds SO2
December 23 2009 automatic safety shutdown of the #2 SRU.....result of an apparent malfunction in the SRU main burner.....under investigation.....Event lasted 2.6 hours and resulted in SO2 emissions estimated at 3,090 pounds. EDMS 45084199 T120404 12/30/2009
300 Barrel Crude Oil Spill
Murphy Oil Christmas Eve 300 barrel crude oil spill Tank 250-1
Estimated spill 300 bbl; relase to air 9.3 bbl; release to ground 50.7 bbl.... -- Conducted air monitoring.....and detected no VOC and Benzene levels; no impact to waterways.

44,000 pounds hydrocarbons with 155 pounds benzene
Oct 14 - 17 2009 leak at upper manway in #2 FCCU Reactor - . 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 asses 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. EDMS 44138747 Incident T119342 Murphy Oil rescinded notification of benzene release EDMS 44922731 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.
naphtha vapors and crude oil spill
Jan 5 2010 naphtha vapors
naphtha vapors venting during shutdown of Hydrocracker Unit to South Flare; 18 minute event on Jan 5 2010, with estimated SO2 emissions at 12 pounds (under 500 pound RQ). . no other chemical releases reported wind from NW at 10 - 15 mph. residents reported lots of discharge from boiler stack and a sour smell on St Bernard Hwy which entered vehicles when driving through the facility on St Bernard Hwy
Jan 6 2010 crude oil spill Tank 250-1
Murphy Oil crude oil spill Tank 250-1 Jan 6 2010 three barrel crude spill ; release to air .140 bbl;The skimming tank was no longer level (due to settling after a month of heavy rains), resulting in the high liquid level sensor being out of position. As as Jan 13 2010 the cleanup of the spilled material was on-going. While Murphy Oil reports no injuries and no impact to waterways, it is unclear how storm water runoff from this tank system effects the neighborhood canal and nearby wetlands

Friday, January 8, 2010

water samples ? air emissions ?

April showers bring May flowers, yet
December rain brings oil
Unknown VOC and Benzene Emissions

On December 11 2009 Murphy was forced to open Outfall 003 due to prolonged rains. EDMS 44922633 Dec 13 2009 Oil 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.
31,274 pounds of VOC's and 616 pounds of benzene

On December 14 2009 there was a release of 10,967 barrels of gasoline to the roof of Tank 200-1 as reported EDMS 44926543 and to 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.

Blog Archive