'Very impressive': Marvin Braud Pump Station safety features upgraded after fire

Michael Tortorich
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Ascension Parish Safety Director James LeBlanc detailed the many safety measures put into place at the Marvin Braud Pump Station following a fire late last year.

Parish officials announced Dec. 30 the station was temporarily taken offline due to the fire.

The Marvin Braud Pump Station is shown in a file photo.

During the East Ascension Drainage Board meeting held March 7 in Gonzales, LeBlanc updated members on the full assessment of the station, which was completed with the assistance of the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office.

"There weren't any stones unturned when the Fire Marshal's Office came in," LeBlanc said.

Field safety audits were done Feb. 23, Feb. 25, and March 2, along with a Fire Marshal inspection Feb. 27.

Safety improvements included: fuel lines re-routed, fuel storages marked, emergency lights repaired, lock-out boxes installed, eye-wash stations added, proper signage installed, hearing and personal protection signs added, fuel valves locked, water rescue equipment installed, fire protection wheeled units added, startup and shutdown procedures laminated and installed on the seven pumps, safety data sheets included, drums labeled, ladders placed in one location and tied down, air regulators installed, and safety signs added throughout the facility, among other improvements.

Additionally, LeBlanc said an evacuation plan for the entire facility, which has been in use since 1991, is in the works.

“I can tell you that what I’ve seen over the last 30 to 40 days has been very impressive as far as safety. This is the first time since I’ve been hired here, over two years, that I can honestly say that this facility looks like what an industrial facility should look like when it comes to safety," LeBlanc said.

He also offered to meet the members for a tour of the site.

Utilities Director Bill Dawson and Public Works Director Ron Savoy then gave a presentation on the operating procedure for the facility.

Later in the meeting, member Teri Casso emphasized that the lessons learned from the Marvin Braud station would be applied to all parish pumping stations.

Gonzales Weekly Citizen and Donaldsonville Chief, part of the USA Today Network of Louisiana, cover Ascension Parish and the greater Baton Rouge area. Follow at facebook.com/WeeklyCitizen and facebook.com/DonaldsonvilleChief.