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Today Gulf Coast residents and their allies in the environmental and social justice movements rallied and spoke against federal plans to issue 10 new offshore fossil fuel leases in the Gulf of Mexico, continuing the momentum from a historic, high-profile demonstration against another Gulf lease sale last month at the Superdome.
A Bureau of Ocean Energy Management spokesman said Wednesday that the federal agency encourages public input concerning oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico, but may make changes on how it conducts its public auctions.
On June 13th in response to calls about a chemical odor, the Bucket Brigade deployed its Emergency Response Team to talk to the St. Rose community and take health surveys. Over 80% of residents interviewed by the Bucket Brigade reported health effects from vomiting to diarrhea.
The neighboring industrial facilities - Shell and IMTT - as well as the spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Quality stated that "we have found no levels [of air pollution] that are harmful to human health."
Despite these statements, community reports indicate that odors are a chronic problem in St. Rose and a process is not in place to adequately protect the health and safety of the fencline communities.
Wanda Weber "Stands Up"
Wanda Weber has been living in St. Rose her entire life. She's currently on oxygen, and when the odors intensified, she struggled to breathe. Her children had to rescue her from her home.
Watch this video to hear her story, her struggle, but most importantly, her reason for "standing up."