River Ridge

Parish: Jefferson Parish

For several years now, residents have been plagued by intense odor events that have reportedly caused health problems throughout the area. Hundreds of complaints have been reported to the LDEQ. Investigation into the odors discovered long-term mismanagement of the Jefferson Parish landfill, which has been releasing gases, including dangerous levels of hydrogen sulfide. Residents have expressed that LDEQ’s response has been slow and ineffective at alleviating the impacts they face. Residents and local officials also suspect additional potential sources of odors in the area which includes three other landfills, a grain elevator, Cornerstone Chemical, Evonik, Kemira, wastewater treatment facilities and barge-loading facilities. Cornerstone’s recent expansion plan to build a cyanide plant faced significant public opposition as the local communities feel overburdened and under-protected. In response to community complaints, LDEQ installed a new air monitor in Waggaman as of spring 2020.

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.