Group: LDEQ Ignoring Pollution Complaints in Southwest Louisiana

Optical gas image taken with thermographic camera courtesy of Earthworks

LAKE CHARLES — The environmental group Earthworks sent a letter to the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality demanding the agency respond to pollution complaints submitted last year related to liquefied methane gas (LNG) and petrochemical facilities in southwest Louisiana.

Earthworks said it submitted visual evidence of harmful pollution to the agency on August 15 on behalf of residents, requesting an investigation of the emissions. The pollution events were documented using an “industry-standard optical gas imaging camera designed to make visible air pollution that is otherwise invisible to the naked eye,” according to an Earthworks spokesperson.

The new letter said the response has been inadequate.

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“Zero follow up communication from a regulatory agency is not acceptable,” said Tim Doty, who conducted the investigation. “There is visual proof of significant pollution being continuously released in the Lake Charles area without regard to human health, climate change, site operations and permit requirements. Communities need to know how LDEQ is addressing these concerning pollution events.”

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