Joseph Gaines lives a block and a half from an Exxon Mobil refinery that processes “sour crude,” oil that contains high amounts of sulfur in Beaumont, Texas.
The process of refining the oil produces gases that can cause respiratory, neurological, cardiac, and other serious health problems. Those gasses also give the neighborhood a rotten egg odor.
The plant releases at least 135 toxic chemicals, many of which are carcinogens. And the plant is regularly in noncompliance with the Clean Air Act. Yet many of the people our reporter, Sharon Lerner, met on her recent visit said they felt there was no point in trying to reduce the emissions.
Seventeen years after an initial complaint was filed, the EPA finally issued a letter declaring the case over the refinery pollution resolved, with only small changes to be implemented.
Photo: Todd Spoth for The Intercept
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