Unsecured oil tanks worry one Forrest County resident - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Unsecured oil tanks worry one Forrest County resident

FORREST COUNTY, MS. (WDAM) - Jennifer Higgins and her four year old son live in South Forrest County on Phillip White Road. Behind her home is an unprotected oil tank with signs alerting the public about present dangers, but no fence is located around the tank.

According to Higgins, "We are all tired of being looked over. We are still out here on Phillip White Road, we are still in danger."

On October 31st of 2009, good friends Devon Byrd and Wade White were killed when a separate oil tank facility also on Phillip White Road exploded. That tragedy prompted family members and friends of the teenagers, like Higgins, to push for increased safety measures.

"We've lost a lot already and I have child that plays here within close proximity to that area and quite frankly I think it's ridiculous that there still has not been anything done," said Higgins.

At the scene of the October 2009 accident that claimed the lives of the teenagers, there remains an oil tank that doesn't have perimeter fencing around it. However, there is a danger sign present.

A September 2010 Ordinance passed by the Forrest County Board of Supervisors calls for state oil and gas board license holders in Forrest County to install perimeter fencing around the danger zone of a facility. The deadline to do so is mid June.

Delphi Oil Incorporated, based in Baton Rouge Louisiana, owns both the facility where the deadly accident took place and the one behind Higgins's home. Company officials had no comment when asked if they planned to comply with the county ordinance.

According to David Miller, the attorney for the Forrest County Board of Supervisors, the penalty for not complying with the county's ordinance is a one thousand dollar a day fine. Absolute refusal to comply would likely wind up before a Justice Court Judge.

Copyright 2011 WDAM. All rights reserved.

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