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Louisiana Bucket Brigade
4226 Canal St
New Orleans, LA
Posted: October 28 2014
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DescriptionThe Louisiana Bucket Brigade is an environmental health and justice organization collaborating with communities adjacent to petrochemical facilities throughout Louisiana. We support community’s use of grassroots action to create informed, sustainable neighborhoods free from industrial pollution. This is a challenge in a heavy industrialized region with 17 refineries, over 150 petrochemical plants and 60,000 offshore oil wells.
Since our inception in 2000 our community partners have made it clear that accidents at these facilities – not just ongoing operations - release chemicals that harm people’s health. The area’s storms compound the risk and create cascading disasters. Hurricane Katrina is a good example. Murphy Oil Refinery failed to follow its own preparedness guidelines and spilled one million gallons of oil into the neighborhood.
The goal of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) is to quantify the impacts of petrochemical accidents and ensure that community members’ experiences are acknowledged, documented and integrated into prevention efforts.
We do this by:
1) Conducting door to door surveys after accidents to document the health (including mental health) impacts;
2) Training impacted communities (in times of calm, before accidents strike) to document real time impacts of chemical emergencies using LABB’s crowdsourcing tool, the iWitness Pollution Map;
3) Increasing local knowledge of current emergencies and historical patterns of accidents.
This program collaborates with the U.S. Coast Guard to recruit/train the ERT and integrate ERT into Incident Command. This is an ongoing, long-term project.
ResponsibilitiesEmergency Responders for Chemical Emergencies responsibilities include:
o Conduct door-to-door surveys after accidents to document impact;
o Train impacted communities (in times of calm) to document effects of chemical emergencies;
o Utilize LABB's nationally recognized crowdsourcing tool iWitness Pollution Map to document effects of emergencies in real time;
o Increase local knowledge of current emergencies and historical patterns of accidents;
o Gain experience in community outreach, capacity building and emergency response