Why you should be upset about “upset” emissions

ExxonMobil Refinery, Baytown TX

ExxonMobil refinery in Baytown, Texas

Kristen Lombardi, the best reporter I ever worked with, has a horrifying new report on an environmental hazard you’ve probably never heard of before — “upset” emissions, accidental and/or unplanned dumping of toxic chemicals that is underreported precisely because it is accidental and/or unplanned.

A Boston Phoenix alumna who’s now on staff at the Center for Public Integrity, Lombardi finds that the miserable consequences of this dumping is particularly acute in the unregulated business paradise that is Texas and Louisiana.

“Nobody really understands what’s being dumped on them,” a former resident of Baytown, Texas — home of a massive ExxonMobil petrochemical complex — tells Lombardi. “It’s an invisible kind of poison that’s being rained down.”

Photo (cc) by Roy Luck and published under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.