DC refinery

The Delaware City Refining Company hosted a Community Open House, at the request of State Representative Valerie Longhurst and State Senator Nicole Poore, to discuss and answer questions on DCR’s new rail operations. Representatives from Norfolk Southern Corporation and various local emergency response personnel were also in attendance.

This was a community meeting to discuss plans to increase the already increased train traffic to the Delaware City Refinery of dirty tar sands/fracked oil from Canada and North Dakota. Reps. Earl Jaques, John Kowalko, Valerie Longhurst and Ed Osienski have expressed concerns about the impact the increased number of railcars would have on traffic and safety. Local legislators and residents were surprised by the news from PBF Energy and rail officials and felt they were not properly notified of the plans, which would have a significant impact on the health, safety and well being of the citizens of NCC. These trains pass through our backyards, near our schools and our businesses. The community was never informed of this increase or asked for input. There’s no transparency with this Refinery and their safety track record is abysmal. We need to act to have our voices and concerns heard.

200 people attended the Delaware City Refinery’s open house at Wilbur Elementary School to ask questions about the refinery’s recent expansion of its crude-by-rail program, which is bringing Alberta tar sands and fracked shale oil from North Dakota by train.

The questions were not answered. Lisa Hodaei, a homeowner new to the area, was there: “I simply asked them to address the boiler/sulfur dioxide release 4 weeks ago, to better explain the difference in the processing of tar sands vs. crude, and to detail more about how the solid, liquid, and gaseous waste would be handled/where it would be going, etc., all of which they totally evaded.”

Citizens attending the meeting were concerned about Delaware’s 2nd highest incidence rate of cancer in the US and the impact this more toxic crude will have on that cancer rate.

Questions regarding increased railroad traffic made up a sizeable part of the discussion, but the focus was less on horns and whistles than on public safety issues, such as cutting communities off from emergency responders. While Norfolk Southern representatives said they try to block conventional roadways for 8 minutes, they couldn’t explain why a train was recently timed at blocking traffic for 24 minutes. Nor was the contradiction of PBF’s promise that intersections would not be blocked at certain times resolved with Norfolk Southern’s assertion that rail traffic needs to be able to move anywhere, at any time.

Another participant stated, “Delaware’s reputation for cancer clusters is one we don’t want. While improved treatment of cancer patients is a worthy goal, a better game plan would be to reduce the situations and conditions that make cancer so prevalent in the first place.”

Watch the video at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoqBHjMoA1I

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8 Responses to Delaware City Refining Company Community Open House Addressed Trains, Woo-Hoo

  1. Mark Mark says:

    Andrew Groff · Owner at Avero Systems, LLC

    Once again, The News Urinal does a shite job reporting on an important meeting. There were more than 150 people there. There was no microphones or PA even though the meeting was scheduled weeks before. Direct and specific questions were constantly dodged by the refinery, railroad and the poor hapless guy from DelDot. No specifics or plans of action were presented, only the “facts of life” according to NS railroad. The refinery blatantly lied and mis-spoke about environmental concerns and answered no questions related to pollution controls or waste handling. Clearly this meeting was a complete sham. The fact that the political representation on hand did not challenge any of it begs the question: Why have the meeting at all?

  2. Mark Mark says:

    Steven J Messick · Top Commenter · Talleyville, Delaware

    Claymont Steel and the PBF Refinery are at the center of known cancer clusters. Coincidence? Both have been cited continuously, though disingenuously, by DNREC. When companies like this say that safety is their number one priority (as the PBF official did repeatedly last night), I have to wonder how he keeps himself from laughing out loud. Practice, I guess.
    I’m all for jobs and manufacturing, but there is such a thing as being a good corporate citizen. If a Chinese plane flew over the area and dumped the stuff these facilities emit regularly, we would be outraged and at war. When it happens from within and somebody is making a dollar from it, it gets a pass.

  3. Mark Mark says:

    This is what really happened at the Delaware City Refinery open house at Wilbur Elementary School, Feb 27, 2013

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoqBHjMoA1I&feature=youtu.be

  4. Mark Mark says:

    Lisa Hodaei: It was my pleasure. I simply asked them to address the boiler/sulfur dioxide release 4 weeks ago, to better explain the difference in the processing of tar sands vs. crude, & to detail more about how the solid, liquid, and gaseous waste would be handled/where it would be going, etc., all of which they totally evaded, but at least it was done publicly.

  5. Mark Mark says:

    Lynn Boyer Williams · Following · Top Commenter · Works at Currently Unemployed and looking for a new career
    My family lived in Delaware City long before the refinery was built, and several generations were subsequently born there. Many others built or bought homes there during the period that the refinery was shut down and looked to be scrapped. But why does it matter who was there first? Are you seriously saying that people who live near businesses should have no right to ask questions or to express concerns about CHANGES that businesses near them make, when those changes directly impact their lives?
    Reply · 2 · Like · 2 hours ago

    Kristina Lynn · Top Commenter · Design Empress at KBLynnCREATIVE
    Thanks, Lynn. Because you choose to live in a certain place by no means gives approval to expansion and added health risks. Does this close-minded thinking also give permission deny a right to a decent life to anyone living near a coastline when a storm hits? There are many benefits to living in Delaware City. Just to clarify…these trains are loaded with toxicity and are more likely to derail and spill once they leave Delaware City…and are in YOUR backyards, as they will be traveling at faster speeds once they set on their way.

  6. Mark Mark says:

    Steven J Messick · Top Commenter · Talleyville, Delaware

    While I wouldn’t call this article inaccurate, it certainly does not capture the actual meeting.
    The degree of disorganization was staggering. A microphone was abandoned early, and speakers struggled to be heard all night. Answers from the refinery, the railroad, DelDOT, and various legislators was often contradictory.
    I have to agree that this article doesn’t capture the tenor of the meeting.
    While questions regarding increased railroad traffic made up a sizeable part of the discussion, the focus was less on horns and whistles than on public safety issues, such as cutting communities off from emergency responders. While Norfolk Southern representatives said they try to block conventional roadways for 8 minutes, they couldn’t explain why a train was recently timed at blocking traffic for 24 minutes. Nor was the contradiction of PBF’s promise that intersections would not be blocked at certain times resolved with Norfolk Southern’s assertion that rail traffic needs to be able to move anywhere, at any time.
    Nor does it capture the questions on the many environmental hazards presented by the processing of tar sands oil. As mentioned elsewhere, one woman never had her questions, very simple and non-technical questions, answered, but danced around instead. The lack of needed permits on certain equipment was, likewise, not addressed.
    Delaware’s reputation for cancer clusters is one I would think we don’t want. While improved treatment of cancer patients is a worthy goal, a better game plan would be to reduce the situations and conditions that make cancer so prevalent in the first place.

    http://www.delawareonline.com/comments/article/20130228/NEWS/302270075/Railroad-oil-tank-car-gripes-fire-up-meeting

  7. Mark Mark says:

    The Delaware City Refinery has applied to DNREC for a permit to increase the amount of air pollution that it is allowed:

    Increase in Total Suspended Particulates by 29%
    Increase in Sulfur Dioxide emissions by 4.7%
    Increase in Carbon Monoxide emissions by 14.2%
    Increase in Volatile Organic Compound emissions by 12.3%
    Increase in Sulfuric Acid emissions by 17.2%
    Increase in Ammonia emissions by 15.9%
    Increase in Lead emissions by 33.3%

    http://delaware.sierraclub.org/content/refinery-applies-permit-increase-pollution

  8. Mark Mark says:

    Jen Wallace · Editor in Chief at Indie Fixx
    I must take issue with how this meeting was covered in TNJ. Half of the question and answer period was dominated by concerned citizens with more worries about these trains and what they are carrying than with train whistles blowing at midnight. They were citizens concerned about Benzene (a highly carcinogenic substance) leaking out of these cars as they pass through our neighborhoods and near our schools. One woman pressed the PBF representative about where the liquid, gaseous and solid waste from the refining of this toxic crude is being stored. There was no answer from PBF even when this question was repeatedly asked. There were citizens concerned about Delaware’s 2nd highest incidence rate of cancer in the US and the impact this more toxic crude will have on that cancer rate. There was as much time spent on these types of questions and comments from the assembled crowd as there were questions about train whistles and railroad crossings. Why wasn’t this reported in TNJ? Was the reporter only there for the 1st half hour or is TNJ willfully suppressing the truth? As the Fourth Estate the press has a duty to report the news factually and in an unbiased fashion. This article does neither. TNJ, correct your error and present the truth. There were many more people at this open house with way bigger concerns than with train whistles.

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