State refineries are reporting fewer accidents, but an environmental watch
dog group says pollution from those plants is up. While oil and gas leaders
dispute the figures, neighbors in Baton Rouge say they know the air is being
polluted because they're getting sick.
Leaks, spills and explosions at refineries around Louisiana are tracked by a
group called the Louisiana Bucket Brigade.
"We're tracking their accidents," said Anna Hrybyk, Program
Manager with the Bucket Brigade. "So these are what they call upsets,
what's above and beyond what they're permitted to pollute."
Hrybyk says in 2011, the state's 17 plants reported 301 accidents. She says
98 of those came from Exxon Mobile, in Baton Rouge.
"Some of these were double counted or non-threatening releases, but
they have to be reported," said Chris John, President of Louisiana
Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association.
Hrybyk says there are fewer accidents, but the level of pollution is
"I have to have a gas mask - five of them, to protect my family the
best that I know how from chemicals that these plants releasing," said
Shirley Bowman. Bowman and her neighbors live near Exxon Mobile. Bowman is convinced
the plant is releasing more fumes, because they are getting sick more often.
"Give you headaches. In fact yesterday I had an ambulance come out and
pick me up because I started feeling faint, dizzy and couldn't breathe,"
The Bucket Brigade says through a public records request they received a
copy of a spill report from the plant. According to the paperwork, in September
Exxon Mobile reported an oil spill that was, "inexceedance of the
reportable quantities for oil to soil, benzene, naphthalene and voc." All
of which Hrybyk says are causes of cancer.
"Whether it's from EPA, DEQ, we take each incident and go through with
fine tooth comb. What happened and why. Some are avoidable, some not,"
said John. He says they take each incident seriously.
John's also points out the reports and figures used by the Bucket Brigade
are often inflated, using data the industry does not agree with. He says when
there is an incident it is phoned in, that starts a report. From that report
stems other reports, all dealing with the same initial incident. Some of the
reports are double or triple counted, he says.
For Bowman, she awaits the day she no longer feels the need to keep this
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
31 people are in trouble with the law after a three day prostitution sting in Richmond. Police told NBC12 they targeted specific areas where residents and business owners complained about the illegal activity.More >>
Thursday, July 31 2014 2:17 PM EDT2014-07-31 18:17:53 GMT
A Gulfport woman has been charged with uttering forgery after she allegedly deposited more than $16,000 worth of fraudulent money orders at Coastal Credit Union.More >>
A Gulfport woman has been charged with uttering forgery after she allegedly deposited more than $16,000 worth of fraudulent money orders at Coastal Credit Union. Biloxi Police Department Investigator Steve Schlicht said Cynthia Ann Brosh, 57, turned herself in to authorities Wednesday afternoon.More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 3:19 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:19:10 GMT
(WMC) – A prostitution sting was conducted at a Southaven hotel Thursday. As a result, the following 12 people were arrested: Preston K. Mitchell, 52, Memphis, Tenn., charged with procuring prostitutionMore >>
A prostitution sting was conducted at a Southaven hotel Thursday. Twelve people were arrested.More >>
Thursday, July 31 2014 2:38 PM EDT2014-07-31 18:38:38 GMT
The Evansville Police Department says a man is arrested after an attempted robbery early Tuesday morning. EPD says 50-year-old James Worthington is facing multiple charges after he attempted to rob aMore >>
EPD says 50-year-old James Worthington is facing multiple charges after he attempted to rob a customer at a west side gas station.