Baton Rouge

Parish: East Baton Rouge Parish

The sprawling industrial complex anchored by ExxonMobil’s refinery, first opened in 1909(Standard Oil then), once spurred Baton Rouge’s northern growth. The community immediately to the south of the facility, Standard Heights, originally housed many refinery workers. A history of expansions, accidents and concerned neighbors led ExxonMobil to buy-out most of the houses in Standard Heights. Several blocks of once residential neighborhoods have been converted into green space between residents and the industrial facilities. Remaining community residents express concerns over persistent odors and the potential for accidents and emergency events from the many facilities including Honeywell, ExxonMobil, Lion Copolymer, Formosa Plastics and others.

Community Gallery

Satellite map showing formerly residential lots along the east and south sides of the ExxonMobil Refinery in Baton Rouge, LA
Satellite map showing formerly residential lots along the east and south sides of the ExxonMobil Refinery in Baton Rouge, LA
  • Marylee Orr Interview

    Marylee began building bridges for environmental activism in 1983 after her second son was born with a lung disease. This prompted her to found the environmental organization Mothers against Air Pollution (MAAP), and in 1985 she became the co-chair of the newly formed statewide environmental organization, the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN). In 1987 LEAN made her its executive director. Orr’s organizing career began with a monumental win preventing the burning of PCB's in the African American community of Alsen, LA. She helped pioneer cooperation between environmental interests and labor unions during the historic BASF lock- out of the 1980's to create effective common ground problem solving that improved both worker and community health and safety. In 1991, Orr was selected as a United States delegate to the Global Assembly of Women and the Environment. With Marylee's leadership, LEAN has focused on using environmental challenges as an empowerment opportunity to not only solve health and safety issues but also address the fundamental injustices that undermine underserved communities across our state. Audio interview with Marylee Orr 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.
  • Marylee Orr Interview, part 2

    Part 2 of audio interview with Marylee Orr 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.
  • Marylee Orr Interview, part 3

    Part 3 of audio interview with Marylee Orr 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.