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August Meeting Reports
Posted on Aug 15th, 2012

These reports are a way to let the public know what F.O.R.’s  been up to. It’s also a way that someone can determine if there is any way they’d like to get involved in things. Please contact F.O.R. (Use "Volunteer" on the drop down list) if you are interested.
Community Advisory Panel (CAP) 14Aug12
The quarterly Phillips 66 and ChevronPhillips CAP meeting was held at the refinery on August 14, with Fred Kanter, Linda Wright and Tom Ronayne representing F.O.R.  After brief updates from the community members and the two refinery managers, Wayne McDowell, CPChem site manager, gave a presentation on the $1billion expansion of the chemical plant.  The new facilities will include a polyethylene plastics unit and rail facilities for upwards of 1500 rail cars to store and transport the plastic pellets.  Rapid growth of natural gas production in Texas gives the plant a cheap source of feedstock, making the proposed facility a low cost producer second only to the Middle East.  Construction is slated to begin in 2014, complete in 2017, and result in long term employment for 100 new employees and 50 additional contractors.
The environmental team leaders for each plant summarized their Toxic Release Inventories (TRI) and emissions for recent years.  While most emissions exhibit a steady decline over the years, there were two exceptions.  Nitrate emissions increased in 2011 due to the drought and poorer quality incoming water, and emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) increased several years ago due to the restart of an older ethylene unit.  With adequate rains this year, the wastewater nitrate level has returned to normal.
The next CAP meeting will be at the CPChem offices in November.  In addition, there will a joint meeting with the Brazosport area CAPs on August 30th at the Dow Academic Center.
                               -Report by Tom Ronayne
Stakeholders Meeting 16AUG12
Tom Ronayne and Ken and Linda Wright attended the meeting in West Columbia on August 16, 2012. Changes to the draft of the Watershed Protection Plan Executive Summary were discussed.
H-GAC Clean Water Initiative Workshop
The H-GAC Clean Water Initiative Workshop was held in Houston on August 23 with Tom Ronaye attending. Four different water projects in the Houston area were presented. Grants from the Federal Clean Water Act, Part 319A or 320, fund approximately 60% of each project with the remainder coming from local "in kind" donations or local government funds. The projects included:
  • Restoration of prairie wetlands in Sheldon Lakes State Park northeast of Houston
  • Dickinson Bayou Watershed non-point source management (actually a number of separate projects on city and school properties throughout the watershed)
  • Construction of a wetland at UH Clear Lake to filter and moderate rainwater runoff from the campus
  • White Oak Bayou (inner city Houston) project to manage urban runoff and sanitary sewer overflow  (This project is not yet approved and funded.)
The next H-GAC Workshop on Thursday, September 13th, will cover illicit discharge detection and elimination.  This would be of particular interest to F.O.R. and we should make sure we're represented.
                  –Submitted by Tom Ronayne
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