Tuesday, May 21, 2013

vibrations from plant shaking houses


May 20 2013 Valero Energy has large flaring event with loud roaring and vibrations from the plant that shakes houses, light fixtures, ceiling fans, etc.  The source is reported to be the hydrocracker again, which had ongoing flaring since early May 2013.

Throughout the recent past, residents have endured countless days of continuous earsplitting noise levels or roaring noise that sounds like jet engines. In the past several years,  , noise measured above the local ordinance limits have been attributed to many different sources within the processing plant, include the hydrocracker, the cat cracker, broken boilers from Katrina, steam atomizers on top the flares, low NOx burners, vacuum trucks, processing valves on ALKY unit, steam use, over steaming to the flares, and various startup and shutdown proceedures. Residents received many promises for appropriate noise muffling and sound barriers at the source point.  In 2010, a Judge found the plant owners (Murphy Oil) had not installed appropriate noise control equipment.  Prior to the sale of the refinery, when management purported to be the transition team, in a Fall 2011 public meeting, we explained the refinery processes and equipment are still shaking our houses. There was little to no response, no new expressed concern to further a solution. When asked for information on a particular August 2011 incident which caused houses to move and rumble, it was said there was no information for that date. While some information was available for the May 2013 occurrence, it did not include any remedies for an unacceptable situation.
We have an unfortunate zoning situation with heavy industry adjacent to residential neighborhoods. Despite its industrial zoning, excessive noise is out of place and unwelcome here. No neighborhood should be subjected to such "typical refinery noises" yet these noises continue to disturb us at all times of the day and night. Therefore, measures that are appropriate for normal industry practice are inadequate under these circumstances.  Industry must recognize the need to do more than other refineries that are properly buffered from residences.
This noise is interfering with human activities.
Interference with activities such as speech, sleep, and learning – The thresholds for speech

interference indoors are about 45 dBA if the noise is steady and above 55 dBA if the noise

is fluctuating. Outdoors, the thresholds are about 15 dBA higher. Steady noise of sufficient

intensity (above 35 dBA) and fluctuating noise levels above about 45 dBA have been

shown to affect sleep.

…..annoyance felt in a community for noises intruding into homes or

affecting outdoor activity areas, the main causes for annoyance are interference with

speech, radio and television, house vibrations, and interference with sleep and rest…..

Hearing loss occurs mainly due to chronic

exposure to excessive noise, but may be due to a single event such as an explosion. Natural

hearing loss associated with aging may also be accelerated from chronic exposure to loud





Thursday, May 16, 2013

clear the air, it's filthy

EPA asked to Veto Air Permit

"If our air has too much of a pollutant like sulfur dioxide already, then its important to know the facts when a facility plans to put much more of it in our air. If pollution exceeds a certain level, then requiring controls could rein it in to safer levels. We can have both safer emissions as well as provide for public health and our quality of life -- the choice doesn't have to be one or the other."


Filthy air

The U.S. EPA illegally allows Valero Energy's oil refinery in St. Bernard Parish, to pollute and poison the air, Concerned Citizens Around Murphy claim in Federal Court. 

Federal Court Complaint:  Concerned Citizens Around Murphy vs EPA, filed Wednesday May 15 2013 in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana.
There seems to be a systemic problem of harmful emissions simply eluding permit applications in St Bernard Parish, Louisiana and the result is a significant deterioration of the air we breathe and the various adverse health consequences.  Just yesterday, the SBPG HRQLC  Commissioners expressed the community’s health concerns about the non-permitted emissions at a St Bernard calcining plant ; emissions of chemicals that LDEQ’s monitoring may not even sample for, including antimony, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid and sulfates. 
The Federal Court Complaint filed May 15 2013 by students at Tulane University’s Environmental Law Clinic, on behalf of an association of neighbors, concerns a benzene saturation unit at Valero Energy’s Meraux refinery. The unit was constructed by Valero’s predecessor, Murphy Oil, U.S.A.
EPA previously objected  to Murphy Oil’s Title V Permit because, among other reasons, the permit record did not provide an adequate basis for LDEQ’s determinations. Petitions to EPA demonstrated that emissions calculations  were low-balled and some emissions eluded the application. If corrected, the application would require more stringent pollution controls.  LDEQ's response  only supplemented the permit record, without an opportunity for public input, and failed to resolve the objections in EPA’s Order. 

Concerned Citizens Around Murphy now seeks relief in Federal Court to compel EPA to act without further unreasonable delay, to modify, terminate, or revoke the permit.  A proper permit would lower emissions and protect human health. http://www.epa.gov/NSR/psd.html
The community wants Prevention not Dilution as the solution to pollution.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Valero hydrocracker shutdown / startup

Valero to shutdown the hydrocracker again but it can’t last any longer than 10 days (due to the catalyst).  Valero have reported no complaints.  LDEQ monitored on 5/09/2013 downwind on Jacobs Dr and no readings were above the detection level of 100 parts per billion sulfur dioxide.  SO2 levels below 100 ppb are not detectable on these specific monitoring devices.  LDEQ reports a noticeable odor.  LDEQ update on 5/12/2013 reports a new sulfur dioxide release of approximately 400 pounds SO2 per hour.  This incident was reported to be secured but with ongoing flaring. 

UPDATE: May 17 2013 hydrocracker release ongoing and emissions estimated to be above reportable quantities. As noted in early March 2013, Valero has determined the hydrocracker/hydrotreater unit canot be started up as currently designed without venting a quantity of H2S containing gas to the flare. http://edms.deq.louisiana.gov/app/doc/view.aspx?doc=8802780&ob=yes&child=yes

UPDATE: May 17 2013  Sulfur recovery unit tripped , release from heater stacks of VOCs, SO2, and H2S.  Air monitoring is non detect (? not above 0.5 ppm or not above 0.1 ppm depending on device utilized). 


 May 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16,17 2013 flaring.  Sulfur dioxide readings in Meraux reflect the emissions.  Spikes in hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide at both sites correlate to the night time pattern of noise.  High pitched, high frequency type noises audible in homes May 7 11pm to May 8th 3am.  sleep deprivation again for the neighborhood.  high frequency cycling and high pitch tones early morning and throughout day May 9 with evening flaring

March 5 - 8 2013 hydrocracker shutdown and startup  --  Valero has determined the hydrocracker/hydrotreater unit canot be started up as currently designed without venting a quantity of H2S containing gas to the flare. http://edms.deq.louisiana.gov/app/doc/view.aspx?doc=8802780&ob=yes&child=yes


Friday, May 3, 2013

Nothing but love..........


Nothing But Love is about a community that was overlooked by rescue and recovery groups, and how the residents overcame the disaster. They weren’t asking, “Why aren’t people helping us?” They were saying, “No one is coming to save us, so how can we help each other?” This place was called The Forgotten Parish but, once you know about it, you won’t be able to forget it.


St. Bernard book

by caliluvsno, 05/03/13 1:33 PM
Hi everyone, not sure if you'll remember me but I was on this forum a lot in the first years after Katrina. We worked together to get that Taco Bell boarded up. And I did some volunteer work in the Parish. Well, a few years ago I wrote a book about St. Bernard and how y'all impressed me with your positive attitudes after Katrina. It got picked up by Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. I donated my profits to The St. Bernard Project because I didn't feel right making money off the book. Just recently I decided to make the book available to anyone who wants to read it for free. I put the whole book on a website, you just go to the site and each chapter is there. I don't make a dime from it and there's no registration required. I just want as many people as possible to know about y'all and if, God forbid, any hurricane ever comes at you again, there'll be lots of people checking on you to make sure you're OK. The book is on this website, http://www.katrinabook.com If you have comments about it or something you want to share, you can contact me by email at the contact address on the site.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

pollution effect on plants and coastal erosion

Some of the worst erosion in the world in the last decade has been in the area impacted by the Caernarvon Diversion, including the marshes near Delacroix, and Fitzpatrick told the crowd there's a reason for that.

"The Mississippi River has fertilizers and pollutants in it, and organic-based soil, which is what Delacroix has, is very sensitive to fertilizers," he said.

The issue is that when plants have easy access to fertilizers, they don't grow deep roots, Fitzpatrick said. Then when strong storm surges move through, they easily rip the plants from the soil base.

Todd Masson, The Times - Picayune
Louisiana's Coastal Master Plan will destroy fishing, harm coast, opponents say at Monday meeting


Blog Archive