Parish: Ascension Parish

The industrialization of the community of Geismar, once surrounded by agriculture fields, is representative of many Louisiana communities evolution from agriculture plantations to industrial plants. The predominantly African-American community in Ascension Parish is now surrounded by over 20 industrial facilities including Borden Chemical, BASF, PCS Nitrogen, and Shell Chemical. When EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory(TRI) first came out for the year of 1987, Ascension Parish had the highest toxic releases in the state. 157,704,217 pounds of those toxic releases were in the Geismar area. Geismar resident, Amos Favorite, pictured above during the The Great LA Toxics March of 1988, was one of the founding voices of Louisiana’s Environmental Justice movement and a board member of LEAN. Many Geismar residents continue to be concerned about the myriad of emission sources within their community and their potential impacts on their health and quality of life.

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.