Six hundred Louisiana Toxic Chemical Sites
I found this part of RJS’s report to be particularly interesting about the potential environmental risks in Louisiana resulting from a buildup of waste within the state. This has been accumulated over the years. There does not appear to be an effort to eliminate the waste and chemicals.
Focus on Fracking: natural gas price at a 33 month high; US crude supplies at a 23 month low; Ida shuts down Gulf, MarketWatch 666, Blogger RJS
Toxic Chemical Sites
Almost 600 Louisiana sites with toxic chemicals were in the path of Hurricane Ida’s path. A storm with the potential to batter or flood refineries, storage tanks and other infrastructure releasing oil and other harmful liquids and gases into communities and the environment.
A Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate analysis of industrial data and Ida’s predicted route through the state indicates 590 sites that produce or store toxic chemicals are in harm’s way. Almost 380 of them are within 50 miles of the coast, putting them at particular risk from storm surge, strong winds and heavy rain, according to the analysis of sites listed in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory.
“The number of facilities at risk is something communities need to be aware of and make personal decisions about getting out of the area in case those facilities accidentally release or have incidents,”Wilma Subra, a scientist with Louisiana Environmental Action Network,
There were 540 oil spills after Katrina. Oil companies have yet to be held accountable for any of them.
Again Wilma Subra:
“We always have incidents during hurricanes. And this one is of more concern [than last year’s storms] because it has such a big area of impact.”Wilma Subra, a scientist with Louisiana Environmental Action Network,
Ida is expected to strengthen into an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm and strike Louisiana on Sunday with gusts of up to 160 mph, according to weather forecasters. Storm surge warnings cover much of the Louisiana coast, from the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge near Lake Arthur to the Mississippi-Alabama line. Hanadi Rifai, a hurricane resilience researcher at the University of Houston, said federal and state regulations do little to address the growing risk that storms and floods pose for industrial sites.
“Every chemical plant has to submit to the EPA a big risk document, but they don’t yet consider a severe storm or hurricane. That’s particularly concerning because climate change has been ramping up rainfall and hurricane intensity, and the trend is likely to increase well into the century, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists.”
Time to return Louisiana to France.
France would probably not want it…
that stretch of the Mississippi from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, which includes over 150 refineries and other petrochemical plants and well as other polluting industry, is known at Cancer Alley, and has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Committee for environmental racism, as more than half of those living in the shadow of those plants are black…
the type of cancer clusters the area has experienced vary by the type of petrochemical plants upwind from the neighborhoods in question…
there are numerous reports on the individual spills and breaches in the area, but Reuters gives a quick summary:
here’s a more recent update:
Reports of Hurricane Ida oil, chemical spills escalate in Louisiana waters –Less than half the reports have been investigated by the Coast Guard – The number of reported oil and chemical spills linked to Hurricane Ida has exploded this week, growing from 350 on Monday to more than 2,000 by Wednesday, according to the Coast Guard. While less than half of the spills reported to the National Response Center have been investigated, the number of incidents eventually confirmed seems likely to top the 540 individual spill reports after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “Two thousand spills is an amazing and sad amount,” said Darryl Malek-Wiley, an organizer with the conservation organization Sierra Club. “It shows that our oil and gas infrastructure is not prepared for hurricanes.” Ida blasted a region chock-full of oil pipelines and wells, refineries and other industrial infrastructure, much of it in or near the Gulf of Mexico. The Coast Guard set up a pollution response team in Baton Rouge after Louisiana and U.S. officials were flooded with reports of oil spills in Ida’s wake. Coast Guard personnel are checking on reported spills via boat and airplane. Most of the pollution incidents are oil spills in the Gulf or Mississippi River. Some of the noteworthy incidents include a broken oil pipeline near Port Fourchon, which produced an 11-mile long sheen, and the flooding of the Phillips 66 refinery at Alliance, below Belle Chasse, which has oiled at least 90 birds.