Alexandria / Pineville

The city of Alexandria is located south of the Red River in Rapides Parish. Its neighboring city, Pineville, is located on the opposite side of the river. The demographics from the 2020 census indicated that Alexandria has a majority African-American population, while Pineville has a majority white population (U.S. Census Bureau 2020) Alexandria and Pineville are home to several wood treating facilities.These facilities currently and historically used creosote, pentachlorophenol (PCP), and chromate copper arsenate(CCA) to treat railroad cross-ties, telephone poles and pilings. In 1988, Dr. Paul Connett was invited by the Concerned Citizens of CENLA to speak about the dangers of chemical mixing and waste disposal (Concerned Citizens of CENLA 1988).

In 2015, residents continued to express concern about the health risks associated with creosote exposure. Agnes Francisco and General Russel Honoré addressed the Alexandria City Council to urge them to fund a health survey of the residents. (TownTalk 2010). In 2016, the EPA implemented a Community Sustainability Network and did extensive soil and sediment sampling. The findings reported significant levels of contamination benzo(a)pyrene, among other chemicals (EPA 2016).

In 2020, Residents of Aurora Park Subdivision near the former Dresser Industries facility in Pineville, LA received a letter from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), informing them of contamination in the vicinity of their property from industrial solvents left by Dresser Industries (Bayou Brief 2020). Dresser Industries determined that chlorinated solvents are present in the soils and shallow groundwater in connection with historical operations at the site. (Dresser Pineville Project). In December of 2020, Dresser Industries established a Value Assurance Program in order to maintain property values in the area (Dresser Pineville VAP). An environmental assessment, monitoring, and remediation program is currently underway in close cooperation with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the Louisiana Department of Health. This includes monitoring the direction and concentrations of groundwater, soil vapor monitoring points, and testing the indoor air quality of residences (Dresser Pineville Project). A Health Survey is being conducted by LSU Alexandria, and EPA has worked to develop the Community Sustainability Network Initiative. Residents continue to work toward reducing their exposure and remediating the contamination within their community (EPA 2016).