Debra Ramirez Interview

Debra Ramirez was born and reared in Mossville, Louisiana. Her environmental activism began in the 1980s after Condea Vista (SASOL) announced that ethylene dichloride (EDC), a suspected human carcinogen used in the production of PVC, had leaked into the groundwater beneath the neighboring Mossville community. She was a founding member of the environmental group Mossville Environmental Action Network (MEAN) established to address the EDC issue. The community was partially bought out in 1998 when a class action suit by local attorneys was settled for $32 million, including a $13.9 million property buyout fund for two thousand residents. In July 2013, the company now called SASOL offered a voluntary relocation program for the remainder of Mossville that wasn’t previously relocated. Debra has continued to work to improve the quality of the drinking water being provided to Mossville by the municipal system. She is also working on addressing the health impacts being experienced by Mossville community members. Audio interview with Debra Ramirez 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.