Monday, February 11, 2013

flaring causes sulfur health violations

Flaring event from an upset at Valero Energy's Meraux refinery, yesterday. Sulfur dioxide concentrations violated health  standards, as measured in the neighborhood at Valero's Ventura Drive ambient air monitor.   St Bernard Parish is already non-attainment for sulfur dioxide; the air quality in St Bernard Parish fails to meet the sulfur health standards, based on an air monitor in Chalmette Vista.   The increasing sulfur dioxide concentrations measured at the Ventura Drive monitor may further demonstrate the sulfur health issue throughout the community.

submitted by a concerned resident
clouds of pollution releases in yesterday's flaring event
residents reported intolerable odors throughout the neighborhood
the sulfur dioxide had entered homes
Failure to meet health standards for sulfur dioxide occurs when SO2 hourly average concentrations fail to remain below 75 parts per billion.  Areas are considered non-attainment when the 3 year average of the annual 99th percentiles fail to remain below 75 ppb.  St Bernard Parish's current 3 year average is 255 ppb (based on the Chalmette Vista monitor).  At the Ventura Drive monitor, the highest reading in 2012 was 120 ppb.  The second highest reading  at Ventura Drive in 2012 was 48 ppb, and to date in 2013 the second highest reading is 138 ppb.  It's entirely possible that IF the Valero Ventura Drive monitor measures SO2 concentrations at or above 40 ppb in 2014, the 3 year average based on that monitor could fail to be below 75 ppb.
The sulfur dioxide pollution problem is throughout the community and we all need to do our part to be part of the solution; our lives and our future depend on it.

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