Today, our friends friends at Louisiana Bucket Brigade and 350 Louisiana teamed up with DisasterMap.net to release a report detailing 144 petrochemical accidents in the state of Louisiana — just from February 15th through March 15th of this year. Read the full report below the press release.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 5, 2017
Contact: Anne Rolfes, Louisiana Bucket Brigade,  504.484.3433, anne@labucketbrigade.org

 

Communities Along Bayou Bridge Pipeline Route Bear Brunt of Accidents

144 Petrochemical Accidents in 30 Days; Lake Charles and St. James Suffer Significant Pollution

New Orleans — Over 12,000 gallons of crude oil were spilled during an accident at a tank farm in St. James Parish, with the Plaines All American Pipeline Company reporting as “unknown” the amount that went into ditches in the area. Across the state, in Lake Charles, six days of flaring from area chemical plants and the CITGO Refinery resulted in dangerous chemicals released into the air. “When the residents around Lake Charles, Sulphur and West Lake were dealing with sirens and flares that lasted for days, there was a rumor going around that some of the facilities activated their sirens to celebrate President Trump rolling back regulations that limit industrial pollution,” said Dr. Ezra Boyd of DisasterMap.net.  “The flares spanned six days and released sulfur dioxide, which triggers asthma attacks, and the neurotoxin hydrogen sulfide, as well as unknown amounts of unknown materials.”

Today’s report details the 144 accidents from February 15 to March 15. One hundred thirty-three of those accidents were reported to the National Response Center. The remaining 11 were reported to the Louisiana Bucket Brigade’s pollution hotline, iWitnessPollution.org Today’s report was released by DisasterMap.net, 350 Louisiana and the Louisiana Bucket Brigade.

The report also noted that the statewide average temperature remains higher than average. In the four week period the state temperature averaged 62 degrees, a temperature that is 6.3 above normal. “While the signs of climate change are all around us – from ongoing way above normal temperatures in Louisiana to deadly mudslides in Columbia and Peru – we are facing a hostile administration and our own hostile Congressional delegation, blind to reality and bent on removing regulations,” said Renate Heurich, a Climate Leader with 350 Louisiana.  “We are facing a petrochemical industry bent on extracting the last drop of oil no matter the cost to surrounding communities. It is up to all of us to stand up, speak out and stop this apocalyptic train we have embarked on. Safe and clean energy solutions are available.

Opponents of the Bayou Bridge Pipeline point out that the accidents in Lake Charles and St. James are at the start and end points of the proposed route. “People in Louisiana – and especially in Lake Charles and St. James – already bear an unfair burden of pollution,” said Anne Rolfes, Founding Director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. “This pipeline destroys wetlands, threatens our drinking water and puts us at risk for more pollution. The only people who benefit are already rich guys in the oil industry. This is a special interest getting its pockets lined at the expense of the little guy in Louisiana.”

Proponents of Bayou Bridge have admitted that the oil is for export and that the project would only create 12 permanent jobs.

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Petrochemical Accidents Update Feb 15 – March 15 2017