New safety rules proposed after teen’s death at oil tank site in Beauregard Parish

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 5:41 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The Louisiana Office of Conservation proposes new rules aimed at making oil tank sites safer. This comes after a teen was killed at an inactive site in February.

On February 28, 14-year-old Zalee Day was killed in an explosion at an inactive oilfield tank site.

The Office of Conservation is proposing rules to help prevent such tragedies in the future.

In a news release earlier this year, the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal indicated exploding tanks killed the Longville teen. Witness statements indicated two tanks, one after the other exploded.

Patrick Courreges with the State Office of Conservation says the new rules proposed stem from the tragic event.

“When you see something like what happened earlier this year, you can’t do nothing. If there’s anything you can do to lessen the chance of that kind of horrible accident happening, as a government regulatory branch, you’ve got to see if you can lessen that chance,” Courreges said.

He says their goal is to create more awareness and less access to such facilities near homes, churches and such.

“If you’ve got people living in close proximity to this, traveling past it. If they’re getting a little forgetful about what the risks on those things really are, we want to reinforce: one, that it’s risky; and two, make it awfully tough for you to get on there if you don’t belong there.”

Courreges says the proposed rules including four-foot fencing; a locked gate, if no employees are there; warning signs of flammable or explosive material; and sealed tanks, unless the tanks are under pressure.

All interested parties will be afforded the opportunity to submit data, views, or arguments, in writing. A public hearing will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, August 24, at the LaBelle Room in the LaSalle Building located at 617 North Blvd., in Baton Rouge.

Written comments will be accepted by hand delivery or USPS only, until 4 p.m., August 31, 2021, at Office of Conservation, Executive Division, P.O. Box 94275, Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9275; or Office of Conservation, Executive Division, 617 North Third Street, Room 931, Baton Rouge, LA 70802. Reference Docket No. R A 2021-02.

All inquiries should be directed to John Adams at the above addresses or by phone at (225) 342-7889.

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