A lightning strike sparked a house fire on South Lakeside Oaks Dr. Thursday night.Several crews from the St. George Fire Department responded to the fire Thursday evening.We're told people were in theMore >>
A lightning strike sparked a house fire Thursday. It happened on South Lakeside Oaks Drive in Baton Rouge.More >>
A former East Baton Rouge Parish School System bus driver pleaded guilty Thursday on drug trafficking and money laundering charges. She was sentenced in federal court to 28 months. The 47 year old BatonMore >>
A former East Baton Rouge Parish School System bus driver pleaded guilty Thursday on drug trafficking and money laundering charges. She was sentenced in federal court to 28 months.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 1:24 PM EDT2013-05-24 17:24:22 GMT
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A teenager was killed and a second was arrested on DUI charges in an overnight accident, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.More >>
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Organizers of the Bayou Country Superfest have released the schedule of performers for this weekend's event at Tiger Stadium.More >>
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -
State refineries are reporting fewer accidents, but an environmental watch
dog group says pollution from those plants is up. While oil and gas leaders
dispute the figures, neighbors in Baton Rouge say they know the air is being
polluted because they're getting sick.
Leaks, spills and explosions at refineries around Louisiana are tracked by a
group called the Louisiana Bucket Brigade.
"We're tracking their accidents," said Anna Hrybyk, Program
Manager with the Bucket Brigade. "So these are what they call upsets,
what's above and beyond what they're permitted to pollute."
Hrybyk says in 2011, the state's 17 plants reported 301 accidents. She says
98 of those came from Exxon Mobile, in Baton Rouge.
"Some of these were double counted or non-threatening releases, but
they have to be reported," said Chris John, President of Louisiana
Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association.
Hrybyk says there are fewer accidents, but the level of pollution is
"I have to have a gas mask - five of them, to protect my family the
best that I know how from chemicals that these plants releasing," said
Shirley Bowman. Bowman and her neighbors live near Exxon Mobile. Bowman is convinced
the plant is releasing more fumes, because they are getting sick more often.
"Give you headaches. In fact yesterday I had an ambulance come out and
pick me up because I started feeling faint, dizzy and couldn't breathe,"
The Bucket Brigade says through a public records request they received a
copy of a spill report from the plant. According to the paperwork, in September
Exxon Mobile reported an oil spill that was, "inexceedance of the
reportable quantities for oil to soil, benzene, naphthalene and voc." All
of which Hrybyk says are causes of cancer.
"Whether it's from EPA, DEQ, we take each incident and go through with
fine tooth comb. What happened and why. Some are avoidable, some not,"
said John. He says they take each incident seriously.
John's also points out the reports and figures used by the Bucket Brigade
are often inflated, using data the industry does not agree with. He says when
there is an incident it is phoned in, that starts a report. From that report
stems other reports, all dealing with the same initial incident. Some of the
reports are double or triple counted, he says.
For Bowman, she awaits the day she no longer feels the need to keep this