Louisiana’s Cancer Alley Communities at Risk

More than 100 petrochemical facilities line a stretch of the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which is known to industry as the “Petrochemical Corridor” and to locals as “Cancer Alley.” This series documents the fenceline communities abutting this industrial activity and their efforts to push back against the companies they say are already polluting their air and water and which are often trying to expand further into these neighborhoods. 

In this series

Coalition Against Death Alley protest in front of Mosaic fertilizer plant in St. James Parish
“Take a deep breath” is common advice for helping people to relax. However, that advice has the...
By Julie Dermansky, 28 Mar, 2019
St. James Parish resident Rita Copper holds a photo of a friend who died of cancer
“You don’t give a shit about brown and black people,” Louisiana activist Cherri Foytlin told...
By Julie Dermansky, 13 Dec, 2018
On September 8,  “Rise for Climate” events took place in 95 countries around the world, pressing...
By Julie Dermansky, 10 Sep, 2018
Denka Performance Elastomer plant, located in LaPlace, Louisiana.
What should be done about a chemical plant in Louisiana’s St. John the Baptist Parish that releases...
By Julie Dermansky, 18 Jul, 2018
Ethel M. Harris, a long-time resident of St. James, Louisiana
Sharon Lavigne and Geraldine Mayho took me to meet some of the most vulnerable members of their...
By Julie Dermansky, 12 Jul, 2018
Keith Hunter in St. James, Louisiana
Sixty-year-old Keith Hunter lived in St. James, Louisiana, for roughly 27 years, and during that...
By Julie Dermansky, 31 Mar, 2018
Robert Taylor next to an EPA air monitor
This past year in Louisiana’s St. John the Baptist Parish, a small group of residents began...
By Julie Dermansky, 4 Jan, 2018
ExxonMobil’s refinery and chemical plant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Early morning skies Wednesday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, were alight from a fire that started...
By Julie Dermansky, 1 Nov, 2017
Three African American men in red t-shirts from the Concerned Citizens of St. John Louisiana stand by a sign warning of cancer risk from chloroprene emissions
If you drive along one of the main streets in Louisiana’s St. John the Baptist Parish, you may...
By Julie Dermansky, 27 Jul, 2017
Concerned citizens sit with signs at a DEQ permit hearing in St. Gabriel
A group of residents in St. Gabriel, a suburb of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is no stranger to...
By Julie Dermansky, 28 May, 2017
Denka's chloroprene plant in Louisiana
It doesn’t take carefully calibrated measurements to realize there is something wrong with the air...
By Julie Dermansky, 19 Apr, 2017