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Interactive Map Shows Volatile Facilities Threatened by Hurricane Harvey

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Interactive Map Shows Volatile Facilities Threatened by Hurricane Harvey
Sierra Club

The Sierra Club released an interactive digital map Thursday 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.

"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," Bryan Parras, Sierra Club organizer, said. "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," Parras added. "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."

Colette Pichon Battle, attorney, founder, and executive director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy. Colette Pichon Battle

By Karen L. Smith-Janssen

Colette Pichon Battle gave a December 2019 TEDWomen Talk on the stark realities of climate change displacement, and people took notice. The video racked up a million views in about two weeks. The attorney, founder, and executive director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (GCCLP) advocates for climate justice in communities of color. Confronted with evidence showing how her own South Louisiana coastal home of Bayou Liberty will be lost to flooding in coming years, the 2019 Obama Fellow dedicates herself to helping others still reeling from the impacts of Katrina face the heavy toll that climate change has taken—and will take—on their lives and homelands. Her work focuses on strengthening multiracial coalitions, advocating for federal, state, and local disaster mitigation measures, and redirecting resources toward Black communities across the Gulf South.

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