Stop Hazardous Meeting of Hurricanes and Cancer-Causing Chemicals

Target: Joe Biden, President of the United States

Goal: Keep regions heavily populated by oil and chemical plants safe from environmental disasters.

Hurricane Ida brought catastrophic damage to Louisiana. One hidden effect could be among the most devastating blows of all. Previous hurricanes like Harvey and Katrina torpedoed through major industrial sites, causing results as severe as plant explosions and fires. Even if the worst does not happen, 17 major oil refineries and hundreds of chemical plants were in Ida’s path. Power outages and flooding can significantly chip away at the already-vulnerable safety standards in place at the 600-plus at-risk sites.

Why are environmental safeguards at these places so crucial? The massive string of petrochemical industries that populate the area between New Orleans and Baton Range have earned the shameful moniker of Cancer Alley. The substances handled at these plants are incredibly toxic to the environment and to health, with many known carcinogens in the mix. These plants are constructed near urban centers, many with heavy minority populations. Likely not coincidentally, these regions may have higher-than-average cancer rates.

Other hurricanes have unleashed massive amounts of chlorine, an estimated 11 million gallons of oil, and 23,000 pounds of wastewater onto  communities…to name just a few incidents. The full toll of Ida’s damage is still not yet known, but with precedent-setting storm seasons, these embattled citizens will only face more danger in the months and years to come. Only a true commitment to meaningful change can alter this uncertain and scary future.

Sign the petition below to demand a long-needed cleansing of the United States’ most notorious Chemical Corridor.


Dear President Biden,

“They promised us jobs, Instead, they pollute us with these plants, like we’re not human beings, like we’re not even people. They’re killing us. And ­­­that is why I am fighting.” These words, spoken by one resident of Louisiana’s Cancer Alley, speak for many. The devastation of Hurricane Ida drives home the danger these communities face daily.

This hurricane alone impacted up to two-thirds of Louisiana’s oil and chemical facilities. Previous storms that battered these plants were responsible for oil spills, wastewater floods, and many more untold environmental and public health disasters. The disproportionate toll placed on minorities heavily populating the areas has led to accusations from the United Nations of environmental racism.

These unchecked assaults must end. The hurricanes, and their ever-rising intensity, are certainly not going away. The next one to hit Louisiana may cause truly catastrophic and irreversible damage in the Chemical Corridor. If the threats will not disappear, then we must take away the instruments of their destruction.

Just as you cited Cancer Alley in your January executive order, you must make this region a precedent-setting example in the expansive infrastructure proposal. Please target the clean energy provisions and the work of the proposed Civilian Climate Corps toward this troubled strip of Louisiana. Further, ensure the Environmental Protection Agency remains vigilant in its monitoring of these facilities and that it does not allow the excesses previous leadership ignored. Most crucially, prohibit relevant agencies from offering new construction permits as if they were candy. The last thing affected community members need is more public health hazards at their expense.

Treat Cancer Alley before it reaches the terminal stage.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Chris LeBoutillier

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