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Rising From (Near) Ruin

Published: Monday, December 5, 2005 - 22:00

Although five of its six facilities bore damage from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, without compliance to ISO 14001, recovering from the storms could have been a lot worse for DynMcDermott Petroleum Operations. The company, a 2005 Baldrige Award recipient, is the sole management and operations contractor for the federal Department of Energy’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the United States’ emergency oil stockpile and the largest emergency petroleum supply in the world. Its headquarters are in New Orleans, which dramatically flooded after the storm, leaving much of the city underwater.

DynMcDermott received registration to ISO 14001 in 2000, and the rigorous emergency environmental planning required by the standard helped the company quickly recover from the hurricane, says environmental manager William Bozzo. The oil company sustained damages at five of its six Gulf Coast facilities, yet had no reportable petroleum leaks as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Just two days after the storm passed and emergency workers allowed people back into the damaged area, DynMcDermott restarted operations, says Bozzo.

Re-opening the facilities required a lot of planning before the storm, says Bozzo. The company’s ISO 14001 emergency plan includes the complete stabilization of its storage tanks, emptying containment levees to hold storm water and closing operations completely, Bozzo reports. A company Storm Watch team stayed on-site until it was no longer safe, then evacuated for higher ground.

After the storm, DynMcDermott used trailers and other temporary housing to shelter its workers who were displaced because of the hurricanes. Pre-permitted generators allowed the company to provide power to its facilities.

“ New Orleans was hit hard, and we were too, but it could have been worse,” Bozzo says. “Ongoing efforts to utilize environmental-management systems helped us to prevent harmful environmental incidents during the hurricane.”

For more information, visit www.dynmcdermott.com.

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