Tracking Refinery Accidents and Crowd-sourcing Off-Site Impacts to Improve Health and Wellbeing in Louisiana
According to Louisiana refineries’ own reports to the state, these facilities averaged six accidents per week in 2012. Louisiana refineries reported a total of 327 accidents in 2012. After a year in which refinery accidents released over 2,347,688 pounds of air pollution and 12,745,442 gallons of water pollution, cooperation to solve refinery accidents is needed more than ever. Although the total number of refinery accidents has decreased from 346 in 2011 to 327 in 2012, the total amount of air pollution has increased by 15% from 1.9 million pounds in 2011 to 2.3 million pounds in 2012.
Most accident reports submitted to state regulators by Louisiana refineries claims these have no offsite impact beyond their fences. Through LABB’s iWitness Pollution Map, impacted residents provide proof countering industry claims by submitting reports. Residents providing real time accounts are crucial in improving enforcement of federal and state laws.
Learning Areas:Environmental health sciences
Public health or related research
Analyze and compare data on the Refinery Accident Database by date, point source, causal factor, or chemical spilled. Identify how everyday citizens can document pollution and chemical exposure using innovative civic technologies. Evaluate how the health and well being of communities near refinery fencelines are affected by the place they live.
Keyword(s): Reporting, Environmental Justice
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently the Research Analyst with the Louisiana Bucket Brigade (LABB), a New Orleans-based environmental health and justice organization. I work with communities near oil refineries and chemical plants in the state to document off-site impacts of industrial pollution and increase access to information about refinery accidents. The Bucket Brigade maintains the iWitness Pollution Map, a crowd-sourced mapping tool which allows community members to document the impacts of refinery accidents.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.