On March 3, 2016 LEAN filed a citizen enforcement suit against ExxonMobil over ongoing unresolved air pollution coming from their Baton Rouge Chemical Plant. ExxonMobil’s plant continues to violate Clean Air Act regulations designed to protect human health and the environment. The Baton Rouge Chemical Plant is adjacent to a predominantly African American and lower income residential area in the northern part of Baton Rouge.
The Baton Rouge Chemical Plant emits thousands of pounds of harmful and hazardous air pollutants above permitted limits. These pollutants include, but are not limited to, dangerous and carcinogenic chemicals and gases such as benzene, toluene, propylene, ethylene, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, 1,3-butadiene, hexane, methylene chloride, and other volatile organic compounds that are precursors to dangerous ground-level ozone.
ExxonMobil’s violations of the Clean Air Act continue despite a 2013 administrative settlement with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (“LDEQ”) and continue after LEAN sent a Supplemental Notice of Violations to ExxonMobil on January 30, 2015.
When violations occur, ExxonMobil often fails to lawfully notify LDEQ about the violations because Exxon’s reports usually lack enough detail to comply with regulations and provide residents useful information about their potential exposures to dangerous pollution.
Air pollution continues to be a serious health risk in the United States and in Louisiana in particular. Medical researchers estimate that 200,000 Americans die every year due to air pollution. The communities that live in close proximity to major air pollution sources bear an even greater burden. That is why it is so important that the Clean Air Act is enforced. In fact researchers from the University of Chicago have found that American life expectancy has increased because of the Clean Air Act. If we better enforce the Clean Air Act and reduce air pollution we will have longer healthier lives.
See the Advocate article about the lawsuit here: LEAN sues ExxonMobil, claiming violations of Clean Air Act; plant official claims problems have been addressed