Mossville community featured on CNN's "Toxic Towns"

By Crystal Price - bio | email

WESTLAKE, LA (KPLC) - The concerned voices of the Mossville community went national Wednesday night as CNN featured a special report on the Louisiana community's fear of becoming a "Toxic Town."

The Mossville community gathered at the Rigmaiden Recreational Center Thursday night for a watch party of the special report.

"It's a very exciting moment," said Dorothy Felix, Vice President of Mossville Environmental Action Now (MEAN). "Right now there are millions sitting out there watching what is going on in our community."

The community has been voicing their environmental concerns to local and state agencies for years.

"The agencies and the plants have just turned their backs on this community," said Felix.

But through the CNN report, Mossville was able to voice their concerns to a much larger audience.

Host Doctor Sanjay Gupta spoke with Mossville residents about the illnesses they blame on pollution from near-by chemical plants.

"As you can see in the showing we did walk along the streets in some of the areas that have been affected tremendously," said Felix.

The CNN report also discussed the community's struggle to prove their claims that the 14 chemical plants are to blame.

While the vice president of Mossville Environmental Action Now (MEAN), Dorothy Felix, knows the plants cannot be moved, she does feel something can be done to better protect the health of the Mossville residents.

"We're not asking the plants to move, we just want them to become accountable for what has happened to the residents," said Felix.

Felix and other residents said they are simply asking for a cleaner environment in their community of Mossville.

"All we want them to do is give us quality water and relocate those consenting residents because they have destroyed our community," said Felix.

Residents hope that as more people see the special report, that it will bring better opportunities to Mossville.

"We can't go on fighting like this for another decade," said Felix. "I know with all our prayers and our hard work that we'll be able to network with more people and that something will happen for us."

But local industries dispute the claims of Mossville residents, however.

Larry DeRoussel with the Lake Area Industry Alliance told 7 news that extensive studies by federal agencies have found no link between local industries and health problems.

DeRoussel said a study on dioxin levels in people's blood showed no difference between Calcasieu Parish and Lafayette Parish residents.

The same study also found that within Calcasieu Parish, those levels were the same no matter how close people live to chemical plants.

For more on the special CNN's special report, click on "Toxic Towns" to the right.

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