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U.S. Justice Department initiates lawsuit against petrochemical giants in Louisiana.

Louisiana – February 28, 2023

The United States Department of Justice has initiated litigation against the two petrochemical giants behind a facility in Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley” responsible for the highest cancer risk rates caused by air pollution in the US.  This is a major federal lawsuit that seeks to substantially curb the plant’s emissions at the Pontchartrain Works facility in Reserve Louisiana that currently violate the Clean Air Act and “present an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health and welfare.”  This action, on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is attempting to compel Denka (DPE) the Japanese corporation to “immediately take all necessary measures” to curb emissions of the compound chloroprene, labeled by the EPA as a likely human carcinogen. The lawsuit also names a subsidiary of the US chemicals giant DuPont, which constructed the Pontchartrain Works facility as a neoprene plant and operated it for over half a century.

Environmental Protection Agency.

EPA air monitoring around the facility has consistently shown readings well in excess of the recommended lifetime exposure limit of 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter. People breathing this air are incurring a significantly higher cancer risk than would be typically allowed, and they are being exposed to a much greater cancer risk from Denka’s air pollution than the majority of United States residents face,” the suit states. Victims of environmental pollutants caused by petrochemical plants in Louisiana should contact an experienced environmental pollution lawyer at Stag Liuzza Law Firm for guidance.

Unsafe toxins targeting minority residents.

At least 56% of the residents living near toxic sites such as refineries, landfills and chemical plants are minority groups who suffer negative health effects that include asthma, diabetes and hypertension, as well as risks of various forms of cancer that the EPA claims to have evidence of because the state has allowed pollution to remain high.  The agency’s letter was part of an investigation under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which says anyone who receives federal funds cannot discriminate based on race or national origin. Chloroprene, like other carcinogens, is especially dangerous to children who are still developing. Yet the plant is within 450 feet of the 5th Ward Elementary School, which more than 300 children attend, and within a mile-and-a-half of East St. John High School, which around 1,200 children attend.  Residents of cancer alley who believe that exposure to toxins has caused or exacerbated health problems or lead to untimely death should contact a personal injury lawyer in Louisiana for guidance.

Workers’ compensation/civil action.

Individuals who become sick due to on-the-job exposure at the plants in question should contact an oil industry attorney who can initiate a claim on their behalf supported by proof of employer negligence to seek monetary compensation through either a workers’ compensation action, or a civil action.  The recovery of damages will address losses to victims who have suffered injury, or toxic illness, and families who may have experienced harm from secondary exposure to a toxic substance through a family member’s occupational hazards, or the loss after a work-related death occurs through petrochemical toxic exposure.

Hire a lawyer.

Legal counsel can answer questions regarding the choice between seeking the recovery of damages through workers’ compensation claims, or through civil litigation when accident victims have been harmed in a workplace setting, or to Louisiana residents who suffer from toxic exposure as a secondary danger of petrochemical plant emissions.  Experienced attorneys at Stag Liuzza understand how important it is to seek comprehensive financial awards of damages due to harmful losses.


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New Orleans, LA 70130

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  1. https://www.epa.gov/la/laplace-st-john-baptist-parish-louisiana
  2. https://apnews.com/article/epa-chloroprene-cancer-lawsuit-louisiana-1a57d0402a144bfa4da5d939b34ae6ea
  3. S. Lawsuit Seeks to Force Two Major Companies to Significantly Reduce Emissions From ‘Cancer Alley’ Plant – EcoWatch
  4. http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/Law.aspx?d=814789
  5. https://legis.la.gov/legis/Law.aspx?d=110567
  6. http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/Law.aspx?d=109387
  7. http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/Law.aspx?d=109371
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