Search results for"cancer alley"

How Louisiana’s ‘Cancer Alley’ is harming the earth’s ozone layer

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With the 2020s underway, there’s been a renewed focus on the problem of climate change. The horrific bushfires in Australia have been a reminder that while the world’s leaders did too little over the course of the last decade, global warming has gone from a futuristic threat to a real-time crisis. Many wonder if modern society can make the kind of sacrifices that will be needed to reduce our use...

How lax regs, low taxes power Louisiana’s ‘Cancer Alley’

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As an environmental lawyer with close ties to Louisiana’s ever-growing community of local activists fighting on the same issues, I’ve been sounding the alarm about the state’s so-called Cancer Alley — the web of massive petrochemical plants lining the lower Mississippi River from Baton Rouge to below New Orleans — for years. The small river towns between those two cities —...

‘We live in constant fear’: New map shows staggering risks of La.’s ‘Cancer Alley’

There was a time not that long ago — back when Sharon Lavigne was still back in high school in the community of St. James, Louisiana, long before she became a grandmother of 12 — when the people of her tiny Mississippi River town were happier and healthier. It was before “Cancer Alley” became “Cancer Alley.” It was during her teenage years that the first petrochemical plant opened up...

How other states are fighting not to be like Louisiana and its ‘Cancer Alley’

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When you live embedded within a toxic infrastructure like Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley,” a long stretch of the Mississippi River that’s lined with petrochemical plants and infused with some of the worst air and water pollution in the United States, every day can be a struggle.’ It must feel that way for people like Lydia Gerard and Robert Taylor who come from the tiny town of Reserve, La., which...

In Louisiana’s ‘Cancer Alley,’ inaction makes a sick town even sicker

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Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley” is America’s worst-kept secret. I know this because I’ve been writing about the state’s perilous and often unsightly stretch of chemical plants, oil refineries and other industrial plants ever since I started this blog nearly a decade ago, aiming to call attention to a major public health hazard in our midst. My native state has one of the nation’s highest rates of...

‘Cancer Alley’ is about to get 30 percent worse, if that’s possible

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Too many times in the past, I’ve taken to this blog to write about the latest pollution outrage in the stretch of Louisiana nicknamed “Cancer Alley.” If you’ve been to my native state or even flown over Louisiana bayou country, you’ve certainly seen it: Large refineries or petrochemical processing plants,  shiny, smoke-shrouded jumbles of steel pipes and massive...

Louisiana’s ‘Cancer Alley’ is getting more toxic

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In a perfect world, humankind would be winning the war against toxic air pollution. After all, it’s been almost 44 years since the first Earth Day and the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That was supposed to mark the end of an era when smokestacks belching toxins into the American sky was considered a sign of economic health and not an indicator of cancer and other...

Tar sands creating a new “Cancer Alley” in Canada

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I probably don’t need to tell you what concentrating a band of oil refineries, chemical plants, and environmentally challenging industrial facilities can do to a community. Here in Louisiana, we’ve been living with such a place, lining the Mississippi River and the surrounding countryside between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. It used to be called the “petrochemical...

The people of ‘Cancer Alley’ are fighting back

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Suddenly, chemical plants in Louisiana were in the news last week. That’s understandable — two explosions on back-to-back days in Geismar and Donaldsonville in the very heart of “Cancer Alley” not only killed three people and sent others to the hospital but made for dramatic television, as smoke billowed into the bayou air as if set off by a massive bomb (and there was a...

“Cancer Alley” is on fire — where were the watchmen?

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It was a terrible week on Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley.” This narrow strip of the bayou country between New Orleans and Baton Rouge is home to more chemical plants and refineries than just about any area in the world, let alone the United States. Over the decades, these plants have been a source of both jobs and income for a state in desperate need of both. But as the nickname...

Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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