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On Sept. 29, the EPA released new air standards with tighter restrictions on oil refineries emissions and particularly on benzene, a chemical known to cause cancer. The new rule mandated, for the first time, “fenceline” monitoring that requires refineries to install air monitors on the site to measure benzene emissions and act when the levels exceed allowable levels.
Two hundred fifty students from high schools around New Orleans will converge upon St. Augustine High School for SAYNola, a project exploring themes of African American history and the environmental movement.
In response to a petition and lawsuit by environmental and open government organizations, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will propose regulations requiring natural gas processing plants to start reporting the toxic chemicals they release.
On June 13th in response to calls about a chemical odor, the Bucket Brigade deployed its Emergency Response Team to talk to the St. Rose community and take health surveys. Over 80% of residents interviewed by the Bucket Brigade reported health effects from vomiting to diarrhea.
The neighboring industrial facilities - Shell and IMTT - as well as the spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Quality stated that "we have found no levels [of air pollution] that are harmful to human health."
Despite these statements, community reports indicate that odors are a chronic problem in St. Rose and a process is not in place to adequately protect the health and safety of the fencline communities.
Wanda Weber "Stands Up"
Wanda Weber has been living in St. Rose her entire life. She's currently on oxygen, and when the odors intensified, she struggled to breathe. Her children had to rescue her from her home.
Watch this video to hear her story, her struggle, but most importantly, her reason for "standing up."