ArkLaTex environmental group to take on Calumet Refinery
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -
An ArkLaTex community is teaming up against a major refinery that's allegedly exposing them to harmful chemicals. They say they plan to take action Tuesday morning.
The Calumet Refinery is near the intersection of Midway and Jewella avenues. Residents in the neighborhood just on the other side of the refinery say they are being exposed to dangerous chemicals.
Velma White is a concerned neighbor who started an organization called Residents for Air Nutrilization. Her group has taken samples of the air after residents reported strange odors coming from the plant. "…we have did a lot of research on the different chemicals and we do bucket samples. And it has proven that we've been exposed to benzene, H2S, sulfur dioxide and other V.O.C.'s," says White.
Residents have been complaining about air quality around the refinery that was fined $1 million dollars by the Department of Environmental Quality after officials found several violations during a surprise inspection.
Calumet officials had agreed to spend up to $15 million dollars toward "Emissions Reduction Technology."
White says that is a step in the right direction, but there have still been complaints and problems since then. The most recent complaints are from last month.
The complaints issued against Calumet in March include:
Flaring black smoke
Rotten egg smell
Burning sensation in nose and throat
White says because of the months of repeated accidents at the facility, the Residents for Air Nutrilization is meeting Tuesday at 10 a.m. at 4035 Velva Avenue. The group is calling for Calumet's relocation and on the Environmental Protection Agency to enforce the law.
KSLA News 12 called Calumet for a comment, but they have not contacted us.