Taking a Stand Against Toxic Pollution: The Fight for Justice in St. John the Baptist Parish
By Concerned Citizens of St. John - For decades, residents in St. John the Baptist Parish have been dealing with the health effects of a Denka manufacturing facility that has been releasing chloroprene emissions into the air. This chemical, which is used to make neoprene, is classified by the EPA as a “likely carcinogen” and has been linked to cancer in humans. Despite numerous studies confirming this, Denka continued to deny any responsibility and took no steps to reduce their emissions.
Concerned Citizens of St. John (CCOSJ) is a grassroots organization that made it their mission to tackle this issue, and fight for justice on behalf of their community. The organization was founded by Robert Taylor, whose family had faced generations of medical issues and illnesses due to the chemical exposure from Denka's plant. Taylor took action after witnessing countless members of his community suffer from similar health problems, including multiple cases of cancer among his own friends and relatives.
Today CCOSJ continues their efforts against Denka and is working hard to ensure that all residents receive proper access to healthcare services if they have been affected by chloroprene exposure. They are also pushing for more stringent regulations regarding industrial pollution so that similar cases can be avoided in the future. Furthermore, they are advocating for economic opportunities in St. John that don't involve putting communities at risk due to negligent industrial practices like those employed by Denka over these past few decades
The struggle against toxic polluters like Denka is ongoing but thanks largely in part to the efforts made by Concerned Citizens of St John’s Parish there is hope that justice will prevail and those affected can finally get some relief from this long fought battle.