Mary Brasseaux

Mary Brasseaux became involved in the environmental movement in the 1980s when she began to notice severe health problems developing among members of her small neighborhood. At the time she had been battling cancer for twenty years. Mary believed the health issues she and her neighbors were experiencing stemmed from environmental pollution, possibly due to aerial pesticide application used by farmers in the area. In 1988, indignant about plans to build a medical waste incinerator facility within the city limits of Crowley, Mary and other concerned citizens in her community got involved by passing petitions, and attending public meetings. Through their efforts they stopped the company from getting a permit to incinerate medical waste. She then led a successful campaign in opposition to the expansion of Laidlaw, a hazardous waste processing facility a few miles from Crowley. The facility was closed in 1990. She was a founding member of Help Our Polluted Environment Incorporated (HOPE). Sadly, Mary lost her long battle with cancer in July, 2012. Audio interview with Mary Brasseaux 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.