Blog Archive

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Smelling Baton Rouge

LABB received 3 reports to our iWitness Pollution Map from North Baton Rouge neighborhoods surrounding the ExxonMobil complex within a two hour time period on the evening on May 3rd.  The ExxonMobil Chemical Plant Baton Rouge Complex reported releasing Sulfur Dioxide early morning on May 5th according to an NRC report.

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April 2013 iWitness Pollution Map Report

The iWitness Pollution Map allows concerned citizens or other eyewitnesses to report accidents at oil refineries and chemical plants. The map also displays National Response Center (NRC) reports of chemical accidents in the state of Louisiana and the surrounding Gulf of Mexico waters.

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Cloudy with a Chance of Yuck

April 24th in the Metro New Orleans area was a rainy day.  On rainy days I have come to expect foul odors from refinery accidents because the heavily corroded infrastructure can’t handle the rain.  We received four reports to the iWitness Pollution Map of burning and sulfur odors within a short time frame on April 24th, following almost exactly the pattern of the rain that morning.

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Down By the River Open House

The 1811 Slave Revolt – the largest in North America – happened along River Road, in the same location where plantations have now become chemical plants. Can we draw on that spirit of resistance today to fight the petrochemical polluters who have taken the physical place of the slaveholders?

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Three Years Later

The end of the BP trial last week coincided with the three year anniversary of the company’s disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. This poetic timing is in contrast to the ugly reality before us: livelihoods destroyed, wildlife at risk. Yet Louisiana can learn and improve from this disaster. Here are three things you can do to make the oil industry more accountable in this state:

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Dyno Nobel International Ammonia Plant: Rethinking our Economic Development Plan

The same day many in Louisiana are celebrating the potential economic impact of a proposed ammonia plant in Waggaman, La there was a deadly explosion at a similar facility in West, Texas. The new 850 million dollar Dyno Nobel International ammonia plant is planned to be built approximately a half a mile from the Mississippi River levees that protect the residents of Jefferson Parish. The company’s motto is  “groundbreaking performance” which leads me to hope there is no ground broken on either side of the levee – including the nearby levee on the East bank – where Louis Armstrong International Airport is only a couple of miles away.

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Community Based Chemical Emergency Prevention, Response, Mitigation and Preparedness will achieve Environmental Justice

After I got my MPH from Tulane School of Public Health I was recruited by Catholic Relief Services to serve in their India Program.  During my first years in India, I learned about how a dynamic civil society can change long entrenched social injustices:  women’s empowerment through literacy, savings and lending programs and Community Based Disaster Preparedness initiatives which saved hundreds of lives during seasonal flooding and cyclones.

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Standard Heights Spring Fling Block Party 2013

After much planning, the Standard Heights Spring Fling Block Party finally came into fruition last Saturday April 13th. In terms of success I have to say I’m pleased with the end result. People came and enjoyed themselves and enthusiastically participated in the activities.

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Response to LMOGA: February 2013 report


Thanks for reading our monthly accident report!  People may forget what they had for breakfast, but they will never forget horrible smells that sent them to the emergency room or explosions that blew out all the windows in their home for as long as they live. Though their reports may be 24 days old, Louisianans will never forget the image of Bayou Perot burning, the feeling of heavy breathing, and the experience of their child vomiting white fluids.

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Presenting in the Bluegrass State

On April 3-5, Ronesha Johnson of Residents for Air Neutralization and Kristen Evans of the Bucket Brigade traveled to the University of Kentucky on the invitation of Dr. Shannon Bell of the Sociology Department to give a public talk and then another talk to her class on environmental justice. We received a warm and enthusiastic welcome from the professors and students, with great conversations about the environmental challenges in both Kentucky and Louisiana. Here are a few reflections on the trip.


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