Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Communities for PVC Plant Pollution
Mossville, Louisiana has four vinyl production facilities, including two vinyl chloride manufacturers. It has been called the nation’s “unofficial PVC capital of America.” It is for this reason that Earthjustice, a nonprofit public interest law firm, filed a lawsuit on behalf of two community groups in Louisiana, Mossville Environmental Action Now (MEAN) and Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN), and the Sierra Club.
They went to court in Washington, D.C. on October 22 to ask the federal government to regulate the toxins that pour out of these plants. Poly vinyl chloride (PVC) plants put out 500,000 pounds of vinyl chloride and other toxins each year. Vinyl chloride is a known human carcinogen, and it is alleged the federal government has done little to regulate the industry’s air emissions.
Two citizens of Mossville claim they have been fighting for the last ten years to protect their families and their community from the chemicals that come from the facilities. Edgar Mouton, a retired chemical plant employee, states, “Each day we hear about someone in our community being diagnosed with cancer or another illness.”
Gary Miller, an engineer with LEAN, states that the PVC plants are a serious problem in Louisiana. There are four plants in the Baton Rouge area alone, and there is talk about building a fifth. He says, “This is one of our region’s most toxic industries.”
A federal court ruling in 2004 in a case brought by Earthjustice found the U.S. EPA’s approach to regulating PVC plant pollution was lax and violated the law. The court threw out the insufficient standards then, but the EPA has not developed new standards in the four years since.
Communities around the country allege that the big factories in their midst spew out pollution that is harming them, their families, and their environment, but that very little has been done to remedy the problems. If you or a loved one has been harmed by exposure to toxins in your environment, please contact PersonalInjury.com to find an experienced toxic tort attorney in your area.