Amelia

Parish: St. Mary Parish

Under Construction

Morgan City Women
Front LtoR: Helen Solar, Barbara Leleux, Monica Mancuso, Miriam Price; Back LtoR: Fernell Cryar, Sally Herman, Catherine Holcomb / Copyright Peggy Frankland
  • Miriam Price Interview

    When Miriam Price and Helen Solar’s granddaughter Nicole Price was diagnosed with cancer in the 1980s, Miriam was concerned but didn’t think there was anything she could do about the situation. However, when doctors at Ochsners in New Orleans asked the family if the children in the area played on a landfill, and informed them there were five children in St. Mary Parish with the same cancer—neuroblastoma, Miriam turned her concern into action. When she returned home from Ochsners and learned that Marine Shale located in Morgan City, was incinerating hazardous waste (creosote) without a permit, she decided she had to do something. She spent many years attending local and state public hearings and testifying against the company. Although Nicole lost her fight to cancer in 1997, she lived long enough to see the facility closed. Today, Miriam and her husband Merlin are enjoying traveling and spending time with their other grandchildren and great grandchildren. Audio interview with Miriam Price for Women Pioneers of the Louisiana Environmental Movement by Peggy Frankland, conducted by Jennifer A. Cramer, Director of the T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History. Copyright: Louisiana State University Special Collections.
  • Miriam Price Interview, part 2

    Part 2 of audio interview with Miriam Price for Women Pioneers of the Louisiana Environmental Movement by Peggy Frankland, conducted by Jennifer A. Cramer, Director of the T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History. Copyright: Louisiana State University Special Collections.
  • Fernell Cryar Interview

    Fernell Cryar’s activism began in 1987, after reading in the newspaper about five children living in Morgan City diagnosed with a rare form of cancer (neuroblastoma). She joined five other women to petition local and state officials to close the hazardous waste incinerator operated by Marine Shale Processors. 1997, ten years later the facility was closed and the owner agreed to pay more than $10 million to settle federal and state allegations that it incinerated hazardous waste without a permit and planned to sell the contaminated material as fill to the public. She and four other women from Morgan City were the recipients of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) award for their role in ensuring the safety of their community in the closing of the waste company. Audio interview with Fernell Cryar for Women Pioneers of the Louisiana Environmental Movement by Peggy Frankland, conducted by Jennifer A. Cramer, Director of the T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History. Copyright: Louisiana State University Special Collections.
  • Sally Herman Interview

    Sally Herman was one of the first women to connect illness to waste (creosote) being incinerated in Morgan City at the Marine Shale Processors facility, and one of the first women in the area to challenge the company. She was a founding member of South Louisiana Against Pollution (SLAP). The group received an award from Citizens Clearinghouse for Hazardous Wastes (CCHW) for successfully stopping Marine Shale from accepting waste from the infamous floating New York garbage barge. She was one of five women from Morgan City who received the prestigious Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) award for their role in ensuring the safety of their community in the closing of Marine Shale’s waste facility. Audio interview with Sally Herman for Women Pioneers of the Louisiana Environmental Movement by Peggy Frankland, conducted by Jennifer A. Cramer, Director of the T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History. Copyright: Louisiana State University Special Collections.
  • Catherine Holcomb Interview

    A teacher, Catherine Holcomb was spurred into action after watching a news story about several unexplained cases of children diagnosed with neuroblastoma in the small community of Morgan City. One of those young children diagnosed with the cancer---Nicole Price---was the same age as Catherine’s daughter. She and three other educators from Morgan City spent ten years attending and testifying at hearings until the facility was closed. She was a founding member of the Atchafalaya Delta Society, organized to address the Marine Shale Processors incinerator. She and four other women from the area were recipients of the award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their role in ensuring the safety of their community in the closing Marine Shale Processors. She just recently retired after thirty-three years of teaching in the Louisiana public school system. Audio interview with Catherine Holcomb for Women Pioneers of the Louisiana Environmental Movement by Peggy Frankland, conducted by Jennifer A. Cramer, Director of the T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History. Copyright: Louisiana State University Special Collections.
  • Monica Mancuso Interview

    Monica Mancuso, an educator in Morgan City became involved in the environmental movement after being appointed to a parish committee and asked to tour the Marine Shale facility. She was disturbed at the way the waste was being handled. Shortly after the tour, she learned that doctors at Ochsners in New Orleans were concerned about the five cases of children diagnosed with neuroblastoma in her parish. Thus, began her ten year involvement that ultimately let to the facility being closed in 1997, and the owner fined $10 million for environmental violations. Monica was one of five women recognized by the EPA for her leadership role in the closure of the facility. Audio interview with Monica Mancuso for Women Pioneers of the Louisiana Environmental Movement by Peggy Frankland, conducted by Jennifer A. Cramer, Director of the T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History. Copyright: Louisiana State University Special Collections.
This atlas is a working document developed by community members in partnership with LEAN as they work toward resolving the challenges they face. This content is under construction and continues to be refined as new data is compiled and community situations evolve. Please excuse any errors or omissions. It is our hope that documentation of these struggles allows a greater opportunity to learn from them and, ultimately, to improve the lives of residents across Louisiana who face these significant challenges.