La. Community Challeges EPA Over Weak Protections, Injustice

"Christine Bennett remembers her childhood days in Mossville, La., walking to and from school through an alley of industrial plants. 'We had to cup our noses just to breathe,' said Bennett, who for 53 years lived in the southwestern Louisiana town, a longstanding African-American community."

"Bennett, along with other community members and environmental advocates, is now fighting to protect future generations from having to breathe what she considers hazardous air. The community activists are pushing the government to set more stringent pollution standards for some 12 nearby industrial facilities.

Their latest battle concerns the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's new rules for polyvinyl chloride plants. These plants are considered extremely dirty by environmental advocates; the EPA estimates that U.S. PVC plants collectively emit more than 1,400 tons of hazardous air pollutants each year.

The EPA's recently finalized standards impose weaker emission standards for a Mossville PVC-producing plant and a Houston area plant than for 15 similar facilities around the country. "

Lynne Peeples reports for Huffington Post June 20, 2012.

Source: Huffington Post, 06/21/2012