In early June 2009, Trillium’s Susan Baker led a group of 40 investors on a fact-finding tour of Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley.” The investors, who were gathered in New Orleans for the annual meeting of the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility, represented faith-based institutions and socially responsible investment firms collectively holding billions of dollars under management.
They traveled 200 miles by bus to tour the heavily industrialized and highly polluted stretch west of New Orleans. Guided by prominent experts from local environmental justice, indigenous community, and coastal restoration groups, including the New Orleans-based Advocates for Environmental Human Rights, investors were provided with an in-depth examination of the history and current day environmental impacts of industrial corporations on Louisiana communities. The tour’s ultimate destination was Mossville, LA (known as the “unofficial polyvinyl chloride capital”) to talk to residents who have been disproportionately burdened by the toxic hazards emitted from 14 industrial facilities owned by companies such as Conoco Phillips, PPG Industries and Georgia Gulf. The concentration of vinyl chloride in Mossville, a known carcinogen, has been measured in quantities significantly exceeding ambient air quality standards set by the EPA to protect human health. In 1999, the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry reported that residents of Mossville, had blood dioxin levels three times higher than the national comparison group. Supported by shareholder advocacy and legal actions Mossville residents have fought long and hard to make their community viable again. At the conclusion of this extraordinary tour, Trillium, ICCR, and the Investor Environmental Health Network committed to bring our collective shareholder voice to bear on the environmental injustices compromising human life and health in Cancer Alley.
For more information, contact Susan Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org