Oil Sheens Visible at Flooded Oil Refinery

| Press Releases

For Immediate Release

September 2, 2017

Alex Glustrum, Documentary Filmmaker who shot the footage, (404) 771-4221, alexglustrom@gmail.com
Anne Rolfes, Founding Director, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, (504) 452-4909, anne@labucketbrigade.org

Oil Sheens Visible at Flooded Oil Refinery
Aerial Photos and Video of Largest Refinery in Nation

(Port Arthur) — Newly released video footage and photographs reveal the extent of the flooding in Port Arthur at the Motiva Refinery, the largest refinery in the United States, and the nearby Valero Refinery. The Louisiana Bucket Brigade has obtained aerial footage of flooding at both refineries. “The team that shot this video and the photographs experienced nauseating smells and witnessed a chemical colored substance in the water,” said Alex Glustrum, head of the filmmaking team. The neighboring community is concerned about the toxic exposure in both the air and the water.
The footage puts the vulnerability of the Gulf Coast infrastructure in stark relief, continuing the debate about the long term viability of the petrochemical industry. “This is the ultimate example of being stuck on stupid,” said General Russel Honore, commander of Joint Task Force Katrina, widely credited with saving New Orleans after the hurricane in 2005.  “Putting refineries and chemical plants inside of fragile areas, including wetlands, requires approval of the Corps of Engineers the EPA and state agencies who keep going along with it. This is the ultimate stuck on stupid.”
The petrochemical accidents in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey have exposed the Trump Administration’s plans to roll back protections, including the Chemical Safety Rule, designed to protect communities and first responders. While the industry typically calls accidents during bad weather “acts of God,” analyses often find that poor preparation is to blame for accidents during floods and storms. The million gallon Murphy Oil spill during Hurricane Katrina, for example, occurred because the refinery failed to properly secure its tanks.
“The Trump Administration is rolling back laws that we need for protection,” said Anne Rolfes, Founding Director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. “People are told to be resilient after the floods ruin their homes and their lives, yet our government is asking nothing of the petrochemical industry. Companies that make billions dollars of year and take government subsidies could also be resilient. The double standard is disgusting and it’s time for it to end.”
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