Interactive Map Shows Volatile Facilities Threatened by Hurricane 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."
The move comes after regional authorities declared a state of emergency over the weekend after sightings of more than 50 bears in the town of Belushya Guba since December.
This year's letter from Bill and Melinda Gates focused on nine things that surprised them. For the Microsoft-cofounder, one thing he was surprised to learn was the massive amount of new buildings the planet should expect in the coming decades due to urban population growth.
"The number of buildings in the world is going to double by 2060. It's like we're going to build a new New York City every month for the next 40 years," he said.