The Environmental Protection Agency is hosting an environmental meeting Tuesday night for residents to voice their concerns regarding the June 14 benzene spill at the ExxonMobil Chemical Plant in Baton Rouge, according to a Louisiana Bucket Brigade news release.
Members of Louisiana Bucket Brigade will attend and plan to deliver 5,000 letters expressing citizen concerns about the safety of the refinery to ExxonMobil officials.
The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at Faith Place, 6180 Winbourne Ave.
According to a Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality compliance order to ExxonMobil, on June 14, a leaking plug at a tank was discovered, and naphtha, which includes a number of compounds including benzene, was released. The incident was reported to DEQ and other required agencies. The next day, it was estimated that 1,364 pounds of material was released, according to the order.
On June 18, facility representatives told DEQ officials that ExxonMobil Chemical staff had determined June 14 the release was a “Level 2 incident classification” which meant a significant response by the facility was needed.
However, according to the order, the facility did not tell DEQ on June 14 that the facility’s estimate of the amount of material was “substantially different than what was previously reported to the Department.”
On June 20, DEQ got a written notification that the release involved 28,688 pounds of benzene.
The Louisiana Bucket Brigade is an environmental health and justice non-profit group.