Photos by Vivian Stockman
OVEC well knows the pollution/health problems associated with
petrochemical refineries from our ten years of work demanding that the
Catlettsburg, Kentucky Ashland Oil Refinery clean up its emissions.
The tools we used in our successful efforts to clean up the air around
that plant are at risk. That's why, even though refineries are not a
focus of OVEC's current work, we were invited to join the Refinery
Reform Campaign's (RRC) April visit to DC.
The blue skies, fluffy white clouds and abundant flowers of the
nation's Capitol in spring were a breath of fresh air for the RRC
activists visiting DC, who live right up on the fence line of some of
the worst polluters in the nation. But the "Clear Skies"
(more aptly named "Clear Lies") proposal wafting out of the
White House is a toxic storm cloud gathering. That proposal, coupled
with the Bush Administration's push to gut the New Source Review of
the Clean Air Act means the air everywhere, even in the breathing zone
of the rich and powerful, could get much dirtier. In West Virginia
alone, over 200 industrial plants (coal-fired power plants, chemical
plants and others) could increase their toxic emissions if Bush grants
polluters their wish-list. See Save
the Clean Air Act.
So we visited DC to inform staffers of friendly Representatives and
Senators that they must do all they can to stop Bush from gutting the
New Source Review provisions of the Clean Air Act.
Juanita Stewart, a resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana tells staffers
of Senators Leahy, Lieberman, Boxer and Corzine the health horrors she
and her neighbors suffer living next to refineries. "There is so
much injustice to minority communities," she tells them.
Waiting in the halls to visit with California Congresswoman Maxine
Waters, RRC recipient of the "Clean Air Champion" award.
South Philadelphia resident Brenda Dunmeyer Kennari watches Dorothy
Marcel, from Port Arthur, Texas give the thumbs up signal. Dorothy you
look like you belong in that office! Thumbs up for citizens taking
We also go to meet with Eric Schaeffer as he released
a study on premature deaths associated with power plant pollution.
Schaeffer had recently quit his job at the Environmental Protection
Agency as chief of civil enforcement because the Bush Administration
is hampering efforts to enforce existing environmental laws even as it
pushes for the gutting of those laws. For more info on the study,
click on the links in below.
Sees 6,000 Deaths From Power Plants
Says 8 Utilities' Pollution Causes Premature Deaths
links cola-fired power plants to premature deaths
More info in the sidebar links.
Refinery Reformers April 16, 17, 2002:
Christine Cox and Laura Cox of the Refinery Reform Campaign and the
Louisiana Bucket Brigade, from Lake Charles, Louisiana, where 35
refineries and chemical plants have violated New Source review and
other Clean Air Act provisions. A health survey shows extreme health
problems from pollution
Iris Carter & Nia Butler, from Norco, Louisiana, suffering
health problems from Shell refinery & chemical plants that
Juanita Stewart, from North N. Baton Rouge, Louisiana, suffering
fron Exxon refinery and chemical plants expansions and violations of
Clean Air Act. Plants now trying to expand and use pollution credits
Anne Rolfes, Louisiana Bucket Brigade Director. Helps citizens
document toxic exposures by taking air samples and other methods.
Denny Larson, Coordinator of the Refinery Reform Campaign, member
of the Texas SEED Coalition. Coordinates refinery neighbors fighting
for clean air.
Don Winston, of the Concerned Citizens of New Sarpy, Louisa,
fighting Orion refinery which dumps more pollution through
"accidents" than allowed via their entire permitted
emissions. May 2000 - March 2002 = 5 million plus pounds in excess
Hilton Kelley and Dorothy Marcel, from Port Arthur Texas, the
nation's poorest African American community surrounded by refineries
and chemical plants. Premcor refinery wants to expand and build 5 new
units without New Source Review, while increasing pollution by 525
Mabel Mallard, Myrtle Carter, Brenda Dunmeyer Kennari, from South
Philadelphia. They live close to the Sun refinery and suffer extreme
heath problems. Sun has expanded to make new low sulfur gasoline and
INCREASE local pollution.
Vivian Stockman, from the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition in
West Virginia, representing communities suffering from refineries,
chemical plants and coal pollution.