UDHR Campaign 2013 Spotlight: Mossville Environmental Action Now

Update Type: 

October 28, 2013

Mossville Environmental Action Now (MEAN) has worked for more than 30 years on behalf of the residents of Mossville, Louisiana-which has been called the poster child of environmental racism- on multiple fronts: advocating for environmental justice, educating residents about the health and environmental impacts of toxic pollution; compelling federal and state environmental agencies to enforce human rights laws, and advocating for health services, relocation and pollution reduction to improve the lives and health of residents.

Mossville is a historically African American town founded in 1790 by a group of people looking for a safe haven in which to raise their families free from racial tension, conflict and violence. In the 1940's the unincorporated town became the home of several petrochemical plants and over time the towns populations declined sharply; today 14 plants are located in Mossville.

A study revealed that levels of dioxin (a diverse range of toxic chemical compounds) in the blood of Mossville residents was three times the national average. Local residents suffer a wide range of health problems and after many appeals to the federal government for intervention, they filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Currently, MEAN is negotiating with the chemical companies to design voluntary relocation offers to residents to enable them to find permanent lodging in comparable communities.