Permits sought for Angelina Tank Farm

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 2, 2007


Editor and Publisher

GARYVILLE – Safeland Storage LLC has submitted its request for permits for the proposed Angelina Tank Farm Storage facility to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

Officials with Safeland hope to have a permit to begin construction on the tank farm by February, and begin construction by June.

However, opponents to the tank farm stand firm in their opposition, and say they won’t quit fighting to halt the facility, which is planned for a 400 acre tract of land, located between River Road and Airline Highway, on the west side of Garyville.

The first phase of the $120 million facility is expected to have 12-14 tanks which will hold 3 ? million barrels of oil products.

The application to DEQ calls the facility a &#8220full service marine and land terminal, which will store and distribute products such as gasoline, light crude oil, heavy crude oil, ethanol, petroleum distillates, heavy residual oils, vegetable oil and bio-diesel.

Officials of the tank farm say the need for the facility became more pronounced following Hurricane Katrina since &#8220many oil refineries were unable to obtain the petroleum stock needed to maintain gasoline supplies.”

Safeland Storage officials met with DEQ on Dec. 20, for an initial gathering to answer questions about their facility. The group is seeking to be classified as a &#8220minor source” facility, which would mean no public hearing will be needed.

However, Danny Guidry with Safeland said his group still plans to hold a public meeting since they are continuing to try and be open about their project.

&#8220Nothing has changed in what we are doing since we began,” he said. &#8220We aren’t required to have a public meeting on the plant, but we are going to have one anyway, probably sometime in January.”

Guidry said his group is keeping a 600 foot buffer in most areas, and even more in other areas of the tank farm since they promised to do as much as they could to be away from residential areas in Garyville and Mt. Airy.

&#8220We could put in more tanks than we have planned, but we promised to stay away from the residential as much as possible, and that’s what we are still trying to do,” he said. &#8220So far everything is going according to schedule, and we are doing everything the way we are directed by DEQ. As long as we meet their criteria, which we plan to do, I believe we’ll get our permit.”

However a small group of opponents to the project continue to try and fight the tank farm from coming. One of the leaders in that group is Carl Monica, an area real estate developer, who said they are not backing off their attempts.

&#8220We’ll fight this as far as we can, and that might mean the possibility of lawsuits down the road when it is appropriate,” he said. &#8220We’ve over industrialized in this area and the tank farm is an environmental concern.

&#8220This is a big environmental injustice for this area, and we won’t change our position on it,” he added.

Drawings for the tank farm, as submitted to DEQ, show a total of 63 tanks, although the first phase will only have a little more than a dozen tanks. Guidry said the long-term plan is to have a 10 million barrel capacity, but that will take eight to 10 years to construct.

Loading and unloading of the products will occur off an Airline Highway site, with some products being loaded through rail, as well as the Mississippi River water facilities.

Monica said his group is still claiming an old zoning law says the industrial site must be at least 2000 feet from any residential area, and that could be the point of contention in a lawsuit once permits are obtained.