Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Keep Focused on Health and Environment

With oil fouling the Gulf of Mexico, Americans understand that environmental regulations must be written and enforced before a disaster, not after an oil well blows or a refinery explodes. Citizens now realize the significance of vigilant government agencies in keeping corporations focused on public health and a clean environment.--------Guest column: Iowa right to question S.D. refinery permit

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cost Effective Alternative Would Be Welcomed

The flaring event Wednesday August 4th at the Meraux plant was attributed to shutting down two units in order to changeout catalyst, an operation which is expected to take two weeks.(Reuters Report by Erwin Seba)    Some speculate Murphy's operation may include other maintenance to the units, perhaps replacing corroded pipes, given the highly corrosive property of the liquid catalyst used at the refinery. Residents remain concerned about possible leaks and the dangerous vapors which would go into the community.

Murphy Oil's domestic refineries are two of 51 U.S. oil refineries which are still using the deadly catalyst hydrofluoric acid or HF. (Neil Carman, Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter, Page 55)

""Fortunately, hydrofluoric acid is not the only material oil refineries can use in their refining processes. Many other refineries already use sulfuric acid, a safer alternative, in the alkylation process. This cost-effective and widely-used alternative diminishes the appeal of refineries as a terrorist target and mitigates the public health and safety consequences of an accident. In addition, a new technology, solid acid catalysts, will soon be available for widespread commercial use, offering an even safer option than the use of sulfuric acid.""
Needless Risk: Oil Refineries and Hazard Reduction

St Bernard Parish residents would welcome the use of a safer option in the alkylation process, one which would mitigate health and safety risks inherent to the highly corrosive catalyst.

Saturday, August 7, 2010



Send written comments by September 20, 2010.

Louisiana DEQ has requested Murphy Oil submit a solid waste renewal application for the ponds, or secondary storm water basins. Additionally, Murphy Oil's water discharge permit is under review. Both applications are expected to public notice soon, but we need improvements now.

Murphy Oil caused and allowed quantifiable amounts of benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylene to waters of the state in violation of their LPDES Permit. Murphy Oil discharged storm water runoff from locations not authorized in their LPDES permit. Murphy Oil failed to properly operate and maintain the facility and systems of treatment and control in violation of their LPDES permit. ....... Murphy Oil did not have adequate secondary containment as required by its Spill Prevention and Control Plan.....specifically, the SPC plan states...areas should be surrounded by earthen secondary containment dikes that are designed to detain the volume of the largest tank within the containment, plus allow adequate freeboard for precipitation. (excerpts from Compliance Order MM-CN-02-0015)

Murphy Oil and Louisiana DEQ have reached a water discharge settlement agreement (page 55 of settlement link below). The Proposed Settlement is for a 2008 Compliance Order - Water Discharge Permit WE-CN-08-0410 (page 4) and a MultiMedia Compliance Order MM-CN-02-0015 (page 17). Proposed Water Discharge Settlement Agreement  Murphy Oil agrees to pay $153,177 and not object to the inclusion of the alleged violations in its compliance history.

The Settlement Does Not Require Any Improvements! Murphy Oil should be required to contain its own storm water with increased storm water capacity and to re-route discharges so not to foul our neighborhood canals and nearby central wetlands. Requirements should also be made in Murphy’s Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Plan and Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan.

The Settlement does not provide for any BEP's or Beneficial Environmental Projects in the community.

Submit written comments to suggest Required Improvements and Beneficial Environmental Projects. BEP’s can also be suggested here !

Murphy Oil continues to demonstrate an inability to contain their own storm water and handle the known rain fall in this area. Murphy Oil should be required to increase both their storm water and waste water treatment plant capacity(s) to handle Southeast Louisiana’s not uncommon 8 to 10 inch rains. Murphy Oil should be required to re-route its storm water drainage and waste water treatment discharges so not to foul our neighborhood canals and nearby wetlands. Murphy Oil should be required to segregate its storm water treatment from the process water and waste water treatment.

The secondary storm water basins or ponds have no dikes (or levees), the tank farm containment levees proved inadequate for hurricanes, and the storm water canal overflowed in the June 2009 incident viewable around the 4:14 minute mark of this YouTube Link  .

Murphy Oil continues the use of municipal pipes (unpermitted outfalls) and our neighborhood canals as an emergency discharge route. This canal meanders through several residential neighborhoods before municipal pumps discharge into the central wetlands north of the 40 arpent canal. December 2009 Murphy Oil Discharge in Neighborhood   . Additional Photos


Comments can be made now on this proposed settlement agreement. Submit comments by September 20, 2010. Reference Settlement Tracking No. SA-WE-10-0040

Submit written comments to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Office of the Secretary, Legal Affairs Division, RE: Settlement Tracking No. SA-WE-10-0040, Post Office Box 4302, Baton Rouge Louisiana 70821-4302, Attention: Carolyn O. Bryant, Attorney, or email comments to with same reference tracking number and contact attention. Deadline for Comments is September 20, 2010 (45 DAYS FROM AUGUST 6, 2010 Publication of Notice).

Proposed Settlement Links  also on the LDEQ website, at , by selecting Divisions, Enforcement, and Settlement Agreements for Murphy Oil AI# 1238

Public Notice for Comments

Sunday, August 1, 2010


link above for Library documents

Meeting Discussion Agreement or Lease with School Board and what will happen to our Public Library if the School space is no longer available.   Upon public records request for a copy of this agreement, both the Library Board of Control and the School Board verbally explained there is no written agreement.

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