Friday, May 27, 2011

ExxonMobil Coke Barn

Pictured above in January 2011

The rising Mississippi River levels have affected barge traffic.  Among the many effects on industry along the river, one refinery in Chalmette is now using its old, dilapidated petroleum coke barn for storage. Although Louisiana DEQ is allowing use of the open air coke barn, a compliance order was issued earlier this month ordering the roof repairs within six (6) months. Residents are concerned about the health effects of the toxic dust in their lungs and are frustrated with lack of local enforcement.

Pictured below in February 2011

Perhaps you've noticed the blight and disrepair to the ExxonMobil coke barn on St Bernard Hwy.

ExxonMobil is said to be the richest corporation on the planet Earth, yet they disrespect our community.

 At first, ExxonMobil claimed the new business model  did not include the coke barn, but wanted to keep the Title V air permit current for the coke barn in the event economic conditions changed.  Louisiana DEQ agreed and allowed the coke barn to continue to collapse while still under the regulatory permit.  It didnot seem that local government took action.

Several Citizens have been concerned  about the dilapidated condition of the ExxonMobil coke barn and the threat to life and property should a wind storm carry a roof panel into adjacent neighborhoods. Not to mention the petroleum coke dust  and its affect to our lungs.  Although ExxonMobil claimed the coke barn was emptied , the coke dust would remain unless every nook and cranny were washed and wiped down.

Today, this May 13 2011 document posted to the LDEQ EDMS under AI # 1376.

  ExxonMobil in Chalmette is now using the coke barn due to barge traffic issues with the rising Mississippi River. LDEQ has issued a compliance order ordering repair of the roof within six (6) months. ...... SIX MONTHS of lung damage in the opinion of residents.

If local ordinances do not provide for protection of health and safety from industrial companies, new legislation should be written that will provide protection.

Pictured below May 2011

Another variance granted by Louisiana DEQ due to the rising river and potential for flooding includes flexibility in storage tanks and a variance for flaring:

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