(Chalmette) Long time neighbors of an ExxonMobil refinery are taking their complaints to Dallas headquarters to alert shareholders to the mounting liabilities at its troubled Chalmette Refinery. Legal liabilities, violations of the Clean Air Act, and use of one of most deadly chemicals in the refining process are at the heart of the residents’ case, a case that has been ignored and covered up by the local management. “Our presence in Dallas is in the best interests of the shareholders,” said Ken Ford of the St. Bernard Citizens for Environmental Quality. “There are real problems that need to be solved in Chalmette.
Chalmette Refinery has been the source of local tension for years, with residents complaining about petroleum coke dust and foul odors from the facility. In the last year local and state politicians have begun to question the refinery, an unprecedented step in this oil dominated region. The local press consistently details Exxon’s woes before the public, and courts of law have ruled against the oil behemoth. “Exxon’s senior management needs to pay attention,” said Anne Rolfes of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. “This situation is spinning out of control.”
The groups’ complaints have received additional attention as they have before convinced institutional shareholders to sell its shares of Royal Dutch Shell. Among the groups are those that were crucial players in pressuring Shell to spend an estimated $20 million to buy out a contaminated community to lessen tensions there. “This is just the beginning,” said Johnny Lewis of Chalmette. “We are not going away until these problems are solved.”