New Orleans, LA – Bucket Brigade Founding Director Anne Rolfes says the group's third annual review of refinery accidents shows more full-time staff is needed at the facilities. And, she says, the Environmental Protection Agency should step up oversight on state enforcement of safety regulations.
"In civil rights, the situation was so bad that we needed the federal government to step in. And I can tell you in Louisiana the situation is so bad, the state is turning its head, looking the other way, and we need the federal government to step in."
The report is based on notices the industry is required to file with the state Department of Environmental Quality when an accident occurs. The report says there were 354 accidents in 2010, resulting in more than 975-thousand pounds and 225-thousand gallons of pollution. ExxonMobil topped the list for the number of reported accidents, with 103. The company declined to comment without reviewing the findings. Rolfes says the report reflects the same information that the company provided to the state.
"The good news is that the way to solve this would be an economic stimulus for the state because what they need to do is to hire more workers. That's really our fundamental recommendation.
The report also calls on companies to improve how it prepares for tropical storms and hurricanes.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming