Alley - From
Baton Rouge to New Orleans, brilliantly lit clusters of light glimmer
onto the water of the great Mississippi River giving the appearance
of tiny cities emanating from the darkness of its banks. The many manufacturing
plants dispersed up and down the river, from New Orleans to Baton Rouge,
work around the clock to produce materials used in our everyday lives.
This strip of the river, commonly known as Cancer Alley or The
Chemical Corridor, is often the subject of community
outcries. But, is there validity in the claims of higher medical
risks, destruction to the swamplands, pollution
to the environment, and danger to the communities? Or should these communities
instead be grateful for the jobs and services these plants provide to
their surrounding areas and work towards a more friendly interaction?
industry that has no concern for its environment and the community in
which it inhabits has no place in the beautiful swamplands of the great
Mississippi's banks. Likewise, a community without tolerance for growth
remains stagnant. The information available for both the beneficial
and harmful effects that the chemical industry has on its communities
can be hard to find, difficult to understand, and often times controversial.
However, before either condemning a chemical plant as destructive to
its environment or advocating its presence in a community as beneficial,
both the pros and cons must be researched. Communication and education
between the industry and the community are essential to promote health
and safety awareness to plant employees and community residents; as
well as to keep our land, water, and air evironmentally sound.