The political debate over a Marrero oil recycling center erupted again Thursday (Feb. 11), as West Bank officials joined with New Orleans City Council members to speak out against the plant's efforts to expand its operations.
Environmental groups want President Barack Obama to halt oil and gas leasing in the Gulf of Mexico and for the industry to immediately hire 1,000 new employees to address problems with energy infrastructure.
White smoke, billowing from the Vertex Energy plant is hard to miss in Marrero on the Westbank of Jefferson Parish. But, it's not what you see, instead it's what you smell that bothers neighbors like Ralph Rodgers who lives near the used oil refinery at River Road and Barataria.
A Marrero plant that recycles motor oil is seeking to increase its daily capacity by about one third, and the state Department of Environmental Quality will host a meeting this month to gather public comment on the plan.
On Sept. 29, the EPA released new air standards with tighter restrictions on oil refineries emissions and particularly on benzene, a chemical known to cause cancer. The new rule mandated, for the first time, “fenceline” monitoring that requires refineries to install air monitors on the site to measure benzene emissions and act when the levels exceed allowable levels.
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