The Collaborative on Health and the Environment Partnership Event, May 2, 2013by: Wilma Subra
Evaluation of Available Data: Air Monitoring, Health Impacts Associated with Chemicals Detected in the Air and Surface Water Sampling
By Wilma Subra
Presentation by: Wilma Subra, Technical Advisor to LEAN
Subra Company/Louisiana Environmental Action Network
While residents expressed their extreme frustration, Texas Brine did not commit to any buy-outs but commented that they were in negotiations with their insurance provider and that a representative was in Louisiana to "collect house values and legal descriptions." Notably, CGI Geologist Gary Hecox said the cavern is still collapsing and will take more than a year to fill the hole. LEAN gave recommendations to the Senate committees.
As usual, 2012 has been a busy year. LEAN spent its 26th year working hard continuing to protect the health of communities across Louisiana and the environments they depend on. A few highlights of LEAN's work in 2012 are outlined below.
The clear association between gas development and public health impacts revealed by this research demands that states stop ignoring the problem and start developing the standards necessary to protect the public
Louisiana Coastal Parishes Damage Assessment
by Wilma Subra
A convoy of 40 electrical repair trucks loaded with equipment, were encountered on the highway headed to the worse damaged areas.Crossings the Atchafalaya River in Morgan City, the river banks were lined with shrimp boats and oil service vessels decorated for the blessing of the fleet associated with the Shrimp and Petroleum Festival.
Presentation to the US Environmental Protection Agency Community Air Conference June 27, 2012
The BP Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and burned in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 50 miles from the coast of Louisiana on April 20, 2010. Eleven workers were killed. The rig sank into the Gulf of Mexico on Earth Day, April 22, 2010. Large quantities of Louisiana Sweet Crude were released into the Gulf of Mexico from the Macondo well for 87 days.
This morning (March 22, 2012), Just a little over one month after the EPA announced new rules on regulating pollution from plants producing polyvinyl chloride, an explosion, chemical release, and fire was reported at Westlake Chemical's Geismar Vinyls Complex near Geismar, LA in Ascension Parish.
"Incidents like this one highlight why LEAN has worked hard for 26 years to demand that the industrial facilities in Louisiana be held to the strictest environmental and safety standards possible," said Marylee Orr, Executive Director of Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN), "Our experiences have shown us that fair but stringent and consistent oversight and regulation is necessary to reduce the number of these kinds of incidents as well as 'everyday' emissions. It is not too much to ask that the health and safety of our communities be protected."
While the fire is reported to be under control, residents are concerned about the possibility of exposure to the chemicals released during the incident. Residents are also concerned by any ongoing releases that may have resulted from the explosion and fire.
Jean Kelly, spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Quality said, "the plant was releasing vinyl chloride monomer, hydrochloric acid, chlorine and hydrochloric acid solution," in an interview with the Times-Picayune.
Beauregard Parish Proposed Amending and Re-Enacting of Ordinance 5-81
Permit Process for Use of Parish Roads for Dredging and Oil, Gas and Mineral Exploration within Beauregard Parish
Comments on the Proposed Amended Ordinance 5-81
The proposed amendments to Ordinance 5-81 are focused on concerns of possible damage to parish roads as a result of increasing activity due to exploration of oil, gas and minerals and the associated increase in heavy vehicles. The following comments are provided to strengthen the proposed amended ordinance and/or suggestions to be included in an additional ordinance to safeguard and protect the environment of Beauregard Parish and the health of the citizens of Beauregard Parish.
Technical Considerations for Hydraulic Fracturing and Groundwater Protection
Baseline Testing of Ground Water
- Perform Testing of water wells before oil and gas activity occurs
- Determine quality of ground water
- Identify chemicals currently in the ground water source prior to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing of shale gas plays
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program released data for the calendar year 2010. The 6 greenhouse gases required to be reported consist of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and the fluorinated gases PFC-14, PFC-116 and HFC-23. In the United States, carbon dioxide accounted for 95% of the greenhouse gas emissions, methane accounted for 4% and nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases 1%.
Human Health Impacts Associated with Chemicals and Pathways of Exposure from the Development of Shale Gas PlaysBy: Wilma Subra Subra Company/Earthworks Board Member
January 9, 2012
To view the presentation information please read more.
On August 13, 2011 "tar logs" were collected by LEAN members from the shore of Ship Island off the coast of Mississippi. The tar logs, as they are being called, are brick sized globs of petroleum hydrocarbons that have been rolled into a cylindrical "log" shape by wave action. Samples of the tar logs were sent to a commercial laboratory for analysis.
On December 5th, 2011, The Sierra Club, Louisiana Environmental Action Network, the Steps Coalition and Mississippi Coalition for Vietnamese-American Fisher Folk and Families sponsored an educational forum to discuss the BP Oil Disaster and its impacts to our environment and communities, and how Gulf Coast researchers are addressing these concerns.
The following is a letter from Dr. Sharon A Croisant from the University of Texas Medical Branch announcing their new study, entitled Gulf Coast Health Alliance; Health Risks Related to the Macando Spill (GC-HARMS), that will help us to have a better understanding of the impacts of petroleum contamination in the Gulf region. It was recently funded by NIEHS. LEAN is proud to be a partner in this study!
The latest "Watch Lists" available from the EPA are for September and October 2011. In September and October 2001, Louisiana had a total of 51 facilities on the Environmental Protection Agency "Watch List" for violations of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery (hazardous materials) Act.
In Louisiana, as a result of operations of the PVC production facilities, Vinyl Chloride is present in the ambient air in the Environmental Justice communities located in proximity to the PVC facilities. The Vinyl Chloride fugitive emissions from the PVC production facilities consist of 55 to 78% of the total Vinyl Chloride air emissions. Even with the proposed toxic air emission reductions, the ambient air will continue to be contaminated with Vinyl Chloride and associated HAPs.
The Vinyl Chloride emitted into the air by the six PVC facilities in Louisiana is more than double the Vinyl Chloride emissions released into the air from the four PVC facilities in Texas, which ranks second in the United States behind Louisiana.
As a result of the Mississippi River flood of 2011, the Atchafalaya River at Morgan City crested on May 30, 2011. The Atchafalaya River flood waters were a result of Mississippi River floodwaters being diverted into the Atchafalaya River at the Old River Control Complex north east of Simmesport, Louisiana and into the Atchafalaya Basin by the Morganza Spillway east of Melville, Louisiana. Please read on for images and the full report
Update and Ground Patrol for Louisiana Environmental Action Network and Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper
by Wilma Subra
May 15, 2011
The Atchafalaya River receives 30% of the flow from the Mississippi River via the Old River Control Complex northeast of Simmesport, Louisiana. Due to the flooding conditions along the Mississippi River due to excessive rainfall in the middle Mississippi River valley, the Atchafalaya River has received an increase in flow from the Mississippi River. The Atchafalaya River has been in excess of flood stage and experiencing flooding conditions from the Old River Control Complex southward to Morgan City, Louisiana.
The rising Mississippi River and Atchafalaya River water levels will reach record flood state levels in Louisiana by the week of May 22, 2011. The spring flooding along the Mississippi River was increased due to excessive rainfall in the middle Mississippi River Valley over the last couple of weeks.
On the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, Journey OnEarth explores how much damage the disaster has caused
In the debut episode of Journey OnEarth, we look at the impact of the Deepwater Horizon disaster through the eyes of the people looking for answers.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals will be opening shelters to provide for the special needs of people impacted by air emissions coming from the spilling oil.
Continuous Air Monitoring will be conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from the air monitoring stations at Kenner and Chalmette.(l-r) US Coast Guard District Commander
The EPA will be expediting the testing and results of collected environmental samples.
The oyster beds in areas 2-7 east of the Mississippi River in Plaquemine and St. Bernard parishes will be closed to harvest.
Lower Breton Sound was closed to harvesting at 6 am today, Upper Breton
Sound will be closed to harvesting at 6 PM today (April 30, 2010).
BP is the responsible party and will be covering the cost of the response and cleanup.
The president has ordered the administration to use every single resource available.
On April 29, 2010 Governor Jindal designated the spill to be of national significance.
There has been a substantial release of oil and hazardous materials.
Comments from EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson:
Air sampling began yesterday (April 29, 2010).
At the 6 existing permanent air sampling stations in the area there has been an increase in frequency of samples taken.
The data and results of the air sampling will be available on the EPA
web site http://www.epa.gov/bpspill.
Two mobile labs will be employed to monitor the air quality.
The oily odors experienced in the New Orleans area are due to the large oil sheen being dispersed into the air by the high winds and rough seas and forming aerosols of oil particles.
Water sampling began today (April 30, 2010).
Administrator Jackson had planned on staying two days but vowed to stay as long as needed.
Comments From BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles:
Three on-the-water control burns of oil have been conducted as of the conference.
This has been the largest oil spill response ever.
The sub sea application of dispersants will begin in 2 hours (time was 2:40 PM when this statement was made).
The relief well will begin to be drilled tomorrow (May 1, 2010).
A second drill ship will be in place tomorrow and will be used to deploy the subsurface application of dispersant.
There is a need to protect the coast, wetlands and the economy.
The quantity of oil being released has not changed. Initially BP estimated 1,000 barrels per day. Based on aerial flights and satellite images the estimate was changed
to 5,000 barrels per day. There was a change in estimate not in quantity of oil being released. "This process is highly imprecise."
The weather has been a challenge. The skimming of surface oil was not being performed during the time of the press conference due to adverse weather conditions.
Comments from Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar:
One third of the domestic oil and gas production of the United States comes from the Gulf of Mexico area.
President Obama has requested, within 30 days, a detailed report of safety measures within the oil and gas production industry that should be addressed.
Support this vital work today!
Yes! I want to help make Louisiana safe for us and for future generations!
LEAN is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) is a non-profit organization working to foster communication and cooperation among citizens and groups to address Louisiana's environmental problems.