Wednesday, February 8, 2012

sulfur dioxide levels make resident sick

The Ch_Vista Monitor on December 5 2011 recorded extremely high sulfur dioxide levels, well over the EPA health standard of 75 ppb.  On December 5th, Chalmette Vista's hourly averaged sulfur dioxide levels from 9am to noon were 40 ppb, 135 ppb, 256 ppb, 38 ppb and then from 6pm to 7pm the sulfur levels were 239 ppb and 145 ppb.   A Chalmette resident reported the emissions made her sick.

Incident 135699 EDMS document 8267114 Pages 36 and 37.

Yet, the DEQ inspection states both nearby industries, Rain CII Carbon and ExxonMobil Chalmette refinery, were operating within air permit limits (which is mostly likely true AND those permit limits should be lowered).  However, the DEQ inspection does not include information from the plant operating logs to see what units were operating at that time. Were any operations bypassing pollution controls, even if within the permit limits? Were there malfunctions? What part of the processes is causing this?

We cannot solve this public health problem caused by the sulfur dixoide levels in Chalmette until the source is identified.  Sulfur Dioxide levels continue to exceed the health standards, as shown in  Air Quality readings In January 2012 from  St. Bernard Parishes three air monitors .

Rain CII Carbon is a petroleum coke plant located adjacent to the Chalmette Vista neighborhood and in between the National Historical Park at Chalmette (Battle of New Orleans 1814) and ExxonMobil's Chalmette refinery. Rain CII operates on a variance which allows operational bypasses up to 500 hours annually.  Rain CII recently applied for an additonal 350 hours bypass time to accomodate repairs and maintenance.  The additional particulate matter discharges are estimated at 4.64 tons PM10.

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