The neighborhoods on the east side of the City of Chalmette abut the Valero Petroleum Refinery and the Murphy Oil petroleum storage facility which share a large industrial footprint. Residents had become accustomed to the odors and noise of the facilities. Then during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, floodwaters that overtopped the levees floated a huge oil storage tank 33 feet off of it’s foundation at the Murphy Oil facility. Over 787,000 gallons of oil spilled from the tank into six square miles of adjacent residential neighborhoods. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and petroleum related organic chemicals were found in residential soil samples. Litigation from residents resulted in a settlement that offered buy-outs to nearby residents. 365 homes were purchased and torn down around the facility leaving large vacant areas, outlined in red in the picture below.