Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Key air monitors offline after Laura hits Louisiana gas hub


September 1, 2020

William Widmer – New York Times

A fire burns at a BioLab industrial site in Westlake, La., near Lake Charles, on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, after Hurricane Laura passed through the region. Hurricane Laura ravaged southwestern Louisiana, leaving weary residents to assess the toll and map a way forward.

Hazardous emissions from a chlorine plant fire, abruptly shuttered oil and gas refineries and still-to-be assessed plant damage are seeping into the air after Hurricane Laura, regulators say, but some key state and federal monitors to alert the public of air dangers remain offline in Louisiana.

While the chlorine fire was being monitored as a potential health threat, Louisiana environmental spokesman Greg Langley says he knows of no other major industrial health risks from the storm in the state. He said restoring power and water was a bigger priority.

But some Louisiana residents and environmental advocates say a shortage of solid government information on the state of the air is typical. With dozens of petroleum, petrochemical and other industrial sites, Louisiana is home to communities with some of the nation's highest cancer risks, according to Environmental Protection Agency rankings.


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