Six hundred Louisiana Toxic Chemical Sites

I found this part of RJS’s report to be particularly interesting about the potential environmental risks in Louisiana resulting from a buildup of waste within the state. This has been accumulated over the years. There does not appear to be an effort to eliminate the waste and chemicals.


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Toxic Chemical Sites

Almost 600 Louisiana sites with toxic chemicals were in the path of Hurricane Ida’s path. A storm with the potential to batter or flood refineries, storage tanks and other infrastructure releasing oil and other harmful liquids and gases into communities and the environment.

A Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate analysis of industrial data and Ida’s predicted route through the state indicates 590 sites that produce or store toxic chemicals are in harm’s way. Almost 380 of them are within 50 miles of the coast, putting them at particular risk from storm surge, strong winds and heavy rain, according to the analysis of sites listed in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory.

Wilma Subra:

“The number of facilities at risk is something communities need to be aware of and make personal decisions about getting out of the area in case those facilities accidentally release or have incidents,”

Wilma Subra, a scientist with Louisiana Environmental Action Network,

There were 540 oil spills after Katrina. Oil companies have yet to be held accountable for any of them.

Again Wilma Subra:

“We always have incidents during hurricanes. And this one is of more concern [than last year’s storms] because it has such a big area of impact.”

Wilma Subra, a scientist with Louisiana Environmental Action Network,

Ida is expected to strengthen into an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm and strike Louisiana on Sunday with gusts of up to 160 mph, according to weather forecasters. Storm surge warnings cover much of the Louisiana coast, from the Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge near Lake Arthur to the Mississippi-Alabama line. Hanadi Rifai, a hurricane resilience researcher at the University of Houston, said federal and state regulations do little to address the growing risk that storms and floods pose for industrial sites.

Hanadi Rifai:

“Every chemical plant has to submit to the EPA a big risk document, but they don’t yet consider a severe storm or hurricane. That’s particularly concerning because climate change has been ramping up rainfall and hurricane intensity, and the trend is likely to increase well into the century, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  scientists.”