WHAT: The controversy surrounding the Louisiana Tumor Registry and Dr. Catherine Correa’s defense of polluting industries is intensifying, with determined St. Bernard residents to mobilize in front of the Tumor Registry office in New Orleans on Monday. After a press conference, the residents will enter the building to find Dr. Correa and issue the invitation in person.
St. Bernard Parish residents and their allies invited Catherine Correa to tour their community in order to educate her about the carcinogenic pollution from the local refineries. Dr. Correa, in a letter sent two weeks ago, refused the invitation on the basis of a busy schedule. St. Bernard residents will go to the Tumor Registry on Monday to urge the Registry, in particular the board of directors, to stop defending polluting industries and to educate themselves about the parish.
WHY: The controversy began in early September when the Tumor Registry released a study that found lung cancer incidence in St. Bernard Parish to be the highest in the state. Dr. Correa, an epidemiologist, initially stated that the Tumor Registry study did not determine causation. The current controversy centers around Dr. Correa’s later claim, without supporting facts, that polluting industries in the parish are not responsible for the high cancer rates.
According to its own reports to the Toxic Release Inventory, Chalmette’s Exxon Mobil Refinery is the principal source of carcinogens in the parish. Mobil is currently being sued for violations of the Clean Air Act, including leaking seals on tanks holding benzene, a known carcinogen.
WHERE: 1600 Canal Street at North Claiborne, in front of and then inside the office of the Louisiana Tumor Registry
WHEN: 10 AM, Monday, September 27th, 2004
Good visuals and photo opportunities.