NEW results from federal air samples show pollution from Shell / IMTT in St. Ros

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St. Rose Community One Voice

Contact:  Martha Huckabay, Vice President, St. Rose Community One Voice, 504.812.7775

Anne Rolfes, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, 504.452.4909

 

NEW results from federal air samples show pollution from Shell / IMTT in St. Rose; Residents request parish government support of air monitoring bill

 

(St. Rose, LA) The results of air sampling conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in St.  Rose confirm previous results of state sampling: that chemicals, including the neurotoxin hydrogen sulfide, are in the air at levels that exceed federal health screening levels. “I’m worried about my health,” said Erica Bolden, Second Vice President of St. Rose Community One Voice, the local group advocating for clean air.  “In the long term it could hurt the kids,” she said.

The EPA air monitoring was conducted in November, 2014. The results were received by the community only last week. The results show a variety of chemicals, but the most prominent chemical is hydrogen sulfide, found in concentrations from 1 to 7 parts per billion (ppb). The EPA long term screening level is 1.6 – 1.8 ppb. This long term screening level is important because it is a screening level for people who live in an area more than a year or more. The state has compared results to short and intermediate term screening levels, which are only for a year or less and not applicable to St. Rose residents, many of whom have lived in St. Rose all their lives.

Earlier results from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality also detected hydrogen sulfide. The Department of Health and Hospitals found that residents’ headaches and nausea could have come from exposure to chemicals from IMTT and Shell. The state, however, is taking no action to protect residents, so residents are stepping up. “The emissions had a direct impact on my son,” said Martha Huckabay, Second Vice President of St. Rose Community One Voice.  “I’m involved because it has affected my child - my son - tremendously and still does. I care because I’m a mother and mothers care about their children.”

St. Rose residents today are calling on parish council members and Parish President VJ St. Pierre to write letters of support for House Bill 590, known as the “St. Rose Bill.” The St. Rose Bill, sponsored by Representative Cox, would require twenty first century air monitoring at refineries, chemical plants and tank farms. “The St. Charles Parish Council and the Parish President have a chance to take a stand on behalf of their constituents,” said Anne Rolfes of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. “The residents are requesting a letter of support from the parish for a common sense bill to monitor the air. We do have a right to know what we are breathing.”

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