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Statement: Garyville Chemical Fire Highlights Dangers of Continued Investment in Petrochemicals

Statement: Garyville Chemical Fire Highlights Dangers of Continued Investment in Petrochemicals

Statement from Heather McTeer Toney, Executive Director of Beyond Petrochemicals

Garyville, LA – A fire and chemical leak from a gas plant in Garyville, Louisiana forced area residents living near the Marathon-owned facility to evacuate on Friday as a black plume of smoke swept across the sky over St. John the Baptist Parish. Shelters were set-up for evacuees and residents as far out as five miles were encouraged to stay indoors. The fire continued throughout the weekend.

“The costs to our health and our environment are too high to continue building plants like the Marathon facility in Garyville,” said Heather McTeer Toney, Executive Director of Beyond Petrochemicals. “We are currently experiencing some of the hottest temperatures on record and adding literal “fuel to the fire” is a continued danger. We are thankful no lives were lost directly from this incident. 

“Petrochemical fires, spills, and leaks are happening all the time with severe and lasting impacts on neighboring communities. Higher temperatures and respiratory problems are also linked to the build-up of harmful air pollutants. While families suffer long term health problems from daily pollution, and fires displace entire communities from their homes, this industry cannot be allowed to expand its footprint one more inch.” 

Click here to get the facts on why it is time to move Beyond Petrochemicals. 

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MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Smelser, matt@beyondpetrochemicals.org, 512.739.9635

About Beyond Petrochemicals
Launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies in September 2022, Beyond Petrochemicals: People Over Pollution aims to halt the rapid expansion of petrochemical and plastic pollution in the United States. The campaign draws on the success of the Beyond Coal campaign, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Bloomberg’s Beyond Carbon campaign, to turbocharge existing efforts led by frontline communities to block the rapid expansion of 120+ petrochemical projects concentrated in three target geographies – Louisiana, Texas, and the Ohio River Valley. The campaign also works to establish stricter rules for existing petrochemical plants to safeguard the health of American communities. To date, Beyond Petrochemicals has helped raise awareness and lead timely collaboration efforts using its four pillars of community leadership, data and research, legislation and litigation, and stakeholder engagement to accelerate its goals. For more information, please visit us online and follow us on LinkedIn.