Thursday, November 25, 2010

blown fuse causes hydrocarbon discharge

Updated:  The photos below were taken around 10am on Thursday Nov 25th around the municipal address 2001 Jacob Drive, Chalmette, LA.  It was reported that the new petrochemical testing lab sump pump malfunctioned due to a blown fuse, causing a hydrocarbon discharge into our neighborhood canal, which flows through the neighborhood and into the nearby central wetlands.

Residents reported a distinct gasoline smell in their backyards from the neighborhood’s Jacob Canal.

Update 12 06 2010 Report to LDEQ

The DEQ’s public announcement commercials contain one segment which educates the public about how the amount of oil from just one vehicle’s oil change will contaminate one million gallons of water. How much gasoline and other chemicals have been dumped in our neighborhood in the last 12 months?

Pursuant Turner vs Murphy, some property owners were given the option to sell to the refinery. The court ordered Murphy to make an offer to purchase some of the surrounding properties to create a buffer. Some of this buffer was used to construct a petrochemical testing lab in a residential neighborhood. Murphy was not required to obtain a DEQ nor EPA permit nor to make an environmental assessment survey for this lab. Murphy applied for a local zoning change from residential to a conditional, heavy industrial use. Residents requested copies of the drainage plans and traffic study, but were told there were none. Instead, residents were assured Murphy Oil would not use the residential street and that all discharges from the lab would go back to the refinery. There is no discharge permit for Murphy which allows an outfall into Jacob Drive Canal.

This is not the first time residents have observed the refinery discharges into the Jacob Drive Canal.   (around the 4:14 mark)

December 09 2009 Report

October 2010 Enforcement Warning Letter

Petrochemical Testing Permits

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

ExxonMobil Chalmette air monitoring results

Recently posted to the La DEQ public records are the
monitoring results from samples taken on the other side of the Mississippi River from ExxonMobil Chalmette for 10_04_2010 hydrogen sulfide release   It is unclear if ExxonMobil performed any air monitoring in Chalmette, in the areas adjacent to or nearby the refinery.  The parish prison adjoins the refinery and residential neighborhoods are just across the St. Bernard Hwy.

The community air monitors detected hydrogen sulfide, as reported by Aaron Clark of Bloomberg

SO2 readings over health standard

Sulfur Dioxide spikes over the new health sulfur dioxide standard of 75 ppb for a one hour reading.

CH_Vista monitoring station readings are accessible on the La DEQ website right hand menu under ON AIR Current AQI menu. Select site data, select CH_Vista and select a date. Or make the same selections at this link:

Nov 24th 2010 135 ppb

Nov 23rd 2010 242 ppb

Nov 22nd 2010 106 ppb

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Public Comment Opportunities

1)December 6, 2010 Public Comment Opportunity deadline for Federal Consent Decree settlement between the United States, State of Wisconsin, Louisiana DEQ and Murphy Oil USA.

click here for more info on Federal Consent Decree

2)Murphy Oil USA's solid waste permit renewal application was due in late October 2010 per La DEQ notification document 6174148 dated June 23 2010. In response to a public records request, La DEQ indicated as of November 15 2010, Murphy Oil has not submitted the permit renewal application but did make a verbal notifiction on November 15, 2010 regarding a November 12, 2010 written request for an extension to apply for renewal. Once submitted, the permit renewal application will be under review by the State agency, a copy should post to public records, and the La DEQ has offered to meet with residents for outreach and informational purposes on this issue.

3)Public Comment Opportunity expected to public notice soon for yet another settlement on additional alleged violations of the air permit. more information on this proposed settlement here

4)closed Public Comment on alleged violations clean water act settlement between Louisiana DEQ and Murphy Oil     Information on proposed water permit settlement

5)closed Public Comment on Hazardous Waste Land Treatement Unit Closure Information

Saturday, November 20, 2010

public document changes

The Louisiana DEQ has made changes to the electronic data management system which re-numbered all the public documents.  Previous links to public records may no longer access the information. select EDMS. Enter the original document number under "Document ID"
The La DEQ is working on a more efficient system to cross-reference links to both document numbers.

By using the original document number contained in the link, the document should be viewable on the La DEQ website right hand menu under EDMS.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Safe School Locations

EPA Draft Voluntary Guidelines for Safe School Locations

The above draft guidelines contain some interesting information regarding contaminated sites. 
This is of particular interest, given the local  school board is planning to construct a new public elementary school at the former St. Mark's school site that has recent contamination sample data


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