Thursday, December 29, 2011

storm water & waste treatment problems

June 2009 and July 2011 Refinery floods into neighborhood around the 4:14 minute mark

December 2009  rainfall causes oily discharges

July 2005    waste treatment plant bypasses

December 2009    no berms, only sand bags

Public Meeting Questions

"" At least twice in the public meeting , the DEQ representatives stated NO oil and / or oily wastes are sent to the ponds. This is not true. The applicant attempted to assure the public that at least those wastes sent to the ponds were at least partially treated; that, "the really, really bad oil" was already removed.""

Does this mean they are sending the "good" oil through our neighborhood?

  Comments to DEQ requesting more protective measures

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sulfur Dioxide at Chalmette Vista

Sulfur Dioxide Health Standard exceedances, again, in Chalmette on Tuesday December 20th around midday. SO2 readings at Ch_Vista air monitor spiked to 159 ppb.

The EPA one-hour health standard for SO2 is 75 ppb.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

asbestos removal method shut down

"Public Justice, environmental groups and labor unions have long urged the EPA to shut down its asbestos-removal experiments," and finally EPA has shut down this dangerous asbestos removal method.  "The EPA conducted tests of this method and each time got releases of asbestos, potentially exposing on-site workers and nearby residents to the deadly carcinogen."  Sadly, this comes too late for the Gulf Coast residents who returned to rebuild after the Hurricanes Rita and Katrina.  Hurricane damaged homes sat idle for years.  A large number of these homes contained asbestos.  Even after demolition of the home, there remained the concrete slabs with asbestos flooring materials.

In St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana,  EPA's original plan to burn asbestos containing material at the Paris Road Landfill was changed after residents received help from Public Justice and Tulane University's Environmental Law Clinic.  EPA changed the test burn to include only none asbestos containing materials and vegetative debris. 

However, the questionable asbestos removal and demolition method continued with little safeguards for public health.  The hurricane damaged houses and buildings were simply sprayed with water from the nearby fire hydrants in an attempt to suppress asbestos release and contamination. Workers did not always wear protective gear and although the individual home lot was taped-off, residents were never notified.  Even school bus stops remained the same, allowing children to walk past active demolition sites.  There was other asbestos trouble at makeshift storage sites often located within residential-zoned districts.  Even the asbestos flooring glue residue on the concrete slabs was "sealed" with a red, pinkish paint.  Later slab removal and recycling occurred at newly permitted sites in close proximity of neighborhoods.

In the 2008 photo above, residents relax outside on their carport while an asbestos containing home is demolished. Notice the little yellow asbestos monitor on the empty house next door and another asbestos monitor adjacent to the occupied home.

Not as much water suppression as one might hope for.

Above photo:  A harsh chemical was used to remove the asbestos flooring glue. This chemical made residents feel extremely nauseated. The concrete slab was then painted with a red-pinkish seal before removal. The slabs were brought to a makeshift storage area where they were crushed and recycled.

Some of the recycled concrete was used to form 'T-Wall" structures for the MR-GO Levee repairs.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

EPA Vetos Air Permit

As published in the December Federal Registry , the EPA responded in September 2011 to a citizen's petition to veto an air permit.

Represented by the Tulane University environmental law clinic, Concerned Citizens Around Murphy petitioned  the EPA to Object to the State issued operating permit for a benzene reducing unit at the Meraux refinery, formerly owned by Murphy Oil USA.  The petition shows miscalculations in the permit application and that the changes to the refinery are "major", triggering the requirements for more stringent pollution control technology.

December 2011 Louisiana DEQ response to EPA's order.  The LDEQ backs its decision to issue the air permit based on information in the original application.

Around the same time, the DEQ notified the refinery of deficiencies in recent stack tests on the sulfur recovery units and ROSE heater. ""For both of these tests, the specific conditions of the permit require that the tests be conducted at 80% of the maximum permitted capacity or greater. Since this was not done, the tests will have to be repeated at 80% of maximum permitted capacity or greater."  .

Saturday, December 10, 2011

drainage issues

Rain is a given in Southeast Louisiana.  An afternoon shower can easily dump four inches in a short amount of time.  Local code requires properties to drain to the street and not unto adjacent properties.

A construction site in Western Chalmette has been unable to contain it's own storm water and floods the adjacent neighborhood. The developer was recently ordered to remove the plastic chain wall and replace it with an appropriate concrete chain wall.  The removal of the plastic chain wall reveals even more issues.   Don't know what's going to be done about all the exposed wires.  There have been numerous other issues. 

This is what happens when construction proceeds without proper permits and inspections.

UPDATE:   12/12/2011 Photos construction of concrete chain wall
12/13/2011 photos
12/14/2011 photos

Friday, December 2, 2011

2011 Offsite effect reports

Multiple Flaring events 12/2011



11/21/2011 new report of structural damages to home from refinery vibrations

9/21/2011 DEQ would not include the actual citizen's report, which is supplemented in the second link

Second Link: Actual report:

8/29/2011 refinery shaking houses

6/18/2011 manway leak

6/19/2011 diesel material in municipal rain ditch; facility cannot locate leak

5/18/2011 Odor in air, swollen nasal passages, coughing


Log April and June 2011

3/21/2011 strong odors

3/12/2011 smoky release

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