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WASHINGTON, September 2, 2017 – The Sierra Club released an interactive digital map detailing 449 plants, refineries, and facilities that are posing heightened threats to the 25 counties most affected by Harvey.
For decades, Houston has been home to an immense concentration of chemical and plastics plants, oil and gas refineries, Superfund sites, fossil fuel plants, and wastewater discharge treatment plants among others, threatening the surrounding communities. The overwhelming majority of these facilities were constructed in communities of color, only adding to the burden felt from this disaster. Now, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the threat posed by these facilities has been magnified.
This site will be updated as we learn of actual reported and confirmed instances of releases, spills or accidents.
In response, Sierra Club Organizer Bryan Parras released the following statement:
“For as long as I can remember, my hometown of Houston has been littered with dangerous chemical plants, oil and gas refineries, and hazardous waste facilities. These sites have caused devastation for my family, my friends, and my neighbors for years, polluting our air and water with deadly toxins. Hurricane Harvey didn’t create the problem my community faces, but it has magnified it.
“This map shows the world the threats we have lived with for years, and the environmental injustices we’ve been saddled with. The disastrous fire at Arkema this morning just goes to show the danger our community remains in for the days and weeks to come. As the clouds clear and the sun returns, and we begin to think about rebuilding, we must ensure that the recovery is just and equitable, and ensures communities are not displaced nor threatened by these toxic sites ever again, no matter the weather.”