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Chalmette: Profile

Exxon Mobil sets double standard in Chalmette!

Citizen Groups Sue Exxon Mobil's Chalmette Refining

The St. Bernard Citizens for Environmental Quality (SBCEQ) was started by Ken Ford who has been monitoring activity at the refinery since 1982. He has filed complaints with LDEQ, overseen the permitting process, documented flares and accidents with his camera and taken air samples with his bucket. Mr. Ford and his neighbors present convincing inventories of failure of government oversight as well as health and psychological problems, some of which they believe are caused or exacerbated by the pollution. For more information, see the web site: www.environmentwatchdog.com

The goals of the SBCEQ are to:

  1. Create, maintain and preserve a cleaner and healthier environment for all the inhabitants of this state.
  2. Develop a body of information regarding refinery emissions and impact on the neighborhood by taking air samples and conducting health surveys.
  3. Involve and educate more community members on chemicals released into the atmosphere which can cause health problems. Some chemicals released in St. Bernard Parish are Toluene, Benzene, Hydrogen Sulfide, Sulfur Dioxide and many others.
  4. Find out what is causing routine emissions, upsets and problems created by industry.

There are refineries in parts of the U.S. that use modern technology and have low emissions. It is known that a clean operation is best for our community and our economy.

In 2007 a major victory was won. The EPA filed a federal consent decree against ExxonMobil in Chalmette, meaning that the refinery has to clean up according to federally enforceable guidelines. This came about after five years of community air monitoring.

The importance of this data cannot be overstated. It is a long term picture of what is happening in the parish. This is one of the few fenceline communities (and perhaps the only one) nationwide that can provide some idea of their air quality over the last five years. This is instructive for other communities, the DEQ and the EPA.

Our program in St. Bernard continues to support the residents there while cataloguing the results of the past years of air monitoring. Students from the University of Virginia are helping to complete this report.

Chalmette Air Monitoring Project
The St. Bernard Citizens for Environmental Quality and the Louisiana Bucket Brigade are excited to announce that our joint effort, the Chalmette Air Monitoring Project (CHAMP) is underway again! You can go to come to this website at anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and receive live air monitoring updates to learn what is in the air that you and your family are breathing now.

Excerpts from Judge Vance's ruling
February 4th, 2005

Judge Sarah Vance's ruling against ExxonMobil
February 4th, 2005

Troubled Exxon Mobil Refinery in Chalmette Accused of Pollution Cover Up
October 25th, 2004

Clean Air Act lawsuit
February 14th, 2004