Wednesday, December 28, 2016


Recent comments have eluded to Valero Energy’s Meraux plant seeking community projects to contribute to.  The need for a skate board park and bicycle trail head comes to mind.

With a lack of public input mechanisms to suggest community projects, perhaps it’s worth reiterating previously requested projects:

1) The Villere Plantation's brick drainage pump ruins have been entrusted, through a conservation easement  to the St. Bernard Parish Historical Society. Unfortunately, the conservation easement is scheduled to expire when the EPA CD is completed.   This wooded area on the former Villere Plantation grounds would make a wonderful bird and wildlife sanctuary. Bald eagles are known to nest in this area. It would also be a suitable location for a Central Wetlands observation deck north of the forty arpent canal.  

The Villere Plantation was the site of the British Invasion during the war of 1812. The Villere Plantation was listed as a War of 1812 Preservation Priority in the 2007 American Battlefield Protection Program Report to Congress. "The priorities indicate which sites, in the opinion of the National Park Service, merit immediate preservation action, which need ongoing preservation action, which require additional study, and which are best suited for commemoration rather than preservation."

2)  Buy Back Program; allow homeowners  to increase lot sizes and give residents the opportunity of re-establishing our neighborhood feel.  Place conservation easement on the remaining land titles to provide commitment to a truly protective green zone buffer.

3)  Protect our children and pedestrians and resume the sidewalk replacement program to bring vacant lots to ADA compliance. Include the sidewalks from Ohio Street to Jacob Drive so residents can safely continue to ride bikes or walk along Jacob Drive.

4) Respect our families and our privacy and stop neighborhood surveillance tactics and invasive security cameras. Keep transient workers from trespassing, and provide workers with an evacuation route which does not include our neighborhoods.

5)  Improvements to increase the plant’s storm water capacity and to change the plan for waste water malfunctions, so that use of neighborhood canals for emergency discharges or overflows is prohibited.  Additionally prohibit use of the plant’s western rain water ditch for waste water malfunctions. This “west ditch” connects to the municipal storm water system which discharges into the nearby central wetlands.

6)  Appropriately fill the vacant lots to avoid mosquito infestation and virus transmission.

7) Provide public access to real time fence line monitor data, especially for benzene (not two week averages with data available months later). Continue the ambient air monitor station and real time access to its data beyond the EPA CD conclusion. Provide public access to the rain fall totals measured at the station.

8) Provide real time information during plant emergencies and other incidents.

9) Investments to upgrade the Meraux plant to BACT pollution controls.

10) Investment in operational adjustments for noise muffling and installation of noise abatement technology.

11) Comply with our local code and performance standards for nuisance, vibrations, noise, dust, night work, truck traffic, screening fences, dumpsters and parking lot litter.

12) A good neighbor demonstrates respect on a daily basis for the people who live on the other side of the fence line.  Merge the CAP and the emissions data meeting to allow the general public to attend its CAP meetings and allow information from CAP meetings to be made available to the public.

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