[StBernard] Craig: Status of debris removal

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Wed Oct 10 21:45:13 EDT 2007

John - I am sure some are wondering how many seconds it has taken me to

First, I would like to echo your statement "we can finally have some genuine
leadership in place". Not because it is so desperately needed, but because
it is the right choice.

I can assure you Murphy Refinery will not have "free room to expand and
expose us to their discharges, etc.,". Residents have already made it clear
that should the Jacob Drive Firestation ever be taken out of service due to
a Fire Rating Review Recommendation, that property should be designated
greenspace, as should the rest of the residential properties owned by this
company. There should be no zoning changes and no compromising, as we
already were compromised with the oil spill.

We have learned that Murphy is in preliminary discussions with LDEQ
regarding a 5 year expansion plan which might include the use of a coker
unit. Needless to say, there will be a large amount of public input. The
council has already been asked to consider a committee to review and
recommend those construction permits and any such DEQ permitted expansions.
Similar to the Coastal Zone Advisory Board and its committee's denial or
recommendation on construction projects for the ever increasing pipelines
through our parish, this DEQ construction permit committee would have a
residents and industry public meeting to evaluate the empact on the
surrounding neighborhoods, long before the DEQ public hearing.

Craig has been working very hard to have the residents concerns brought to
light and to the appropriate parties. In both the Ohio Street Neighborhoods
and the Subdivisions North of the 20 Arpent Canal, we are still working on
storm drain, street and sidewalk issues among other items in a proposed memo
of understanding. With regards to sidewalks, with demolitions at about 98%
complete, the sidewalks have all long since been removed. Murphy's offer to
not take up the sidewalks South of Judge Perez has long since passed and may
already be a mute point. We are looking to the parish for the Ohio Street
Subdivisions to have the replacement of the sidewalks to ADA standards
through the current public bids for Parishwide Sidewalks and Curbs to ADA

The larger picture is the fact that this is a subdivision and families live

Our Neighborhood Association has already begun work to address those
concerns and to educate our fellow residents and the council. We are a
neighborhood that happens to have a corporation that is an R1 property
owner. We all know why the corporation was penalized and ordered to make
offers to purchase these properties. We all know this was a voluntary
program on the part of the homeowners. During this election year, we have
been campaigning for Neighbors and Neighborhoods. We have been diligent.
We are well aware of the effects our industrial neighbor is having on the
residents and we have been called "relentless" in our endeavors. We are
still striving to develop comprehensive communications with Murphy Oil,
pointing out that trust is a two-way street and the safety and welfare of
residents should always come first.

We are only asking for what every other neighborhood wants: the opportunity
to return and remain, to revitalize our community, the right to all
government services and utilities that we had before, and to live a peaceful
life with clean air, clean water, and uncontaminated soil.

If anyone would like more information about our neighborhood association,
please feel free to email CCAMLA1 at gmail.com or SJRKneale at aol.com

-----Original Message-----

I hate to bother you yet another time, but have no choice as our parish
president (and others) never seem to share information. What exactly is the
status of "debris pick-up"? I am not including new debris from the
rebuilding process, just the gutted material. I have passed down Genie
Street, Charles Drive, Campagna Drive, Corinne Drive and Corinne Avenue, and
have watch the debris increase. The only trucks that I have seen have been
associated with Murphy's demolitions.

Personally, I wish we could have had Murphy coordinate our demolition
effort instead of paying the parish a settlement, since I doubt anyone knows
where that money went. While it scares me that Murphy will have free room
to expand and expose us to their discharges, etc., if nothing else, no one
will be able to complain about the appearance of their property. They have
removed the slabs, replaced soil, etc. Has any additional consideration
been given to using the cement slabs to make barriers in the swamp,
ultimately creating artificial reefs?

Thanks for your interest; I can't wait until you are sworn in as parish
president and we can finally have some genuine leadership in place.


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