Addressing Community-Level Air Toxics in a Louisiana Parish

Remote monitoring equipment deployed by ERG near a local elementary school to assess potential exposure

Project Brief

The Challenge

Clean air is essential to our health, yet many low-income communities and communities of color face an increased risk of developing health issues due to lower air quality. One such community is in St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana. The community is located next to the only neoprene production facility in the United States. Due to toxins released from the facility, residents were facing the highest estimated risk of developing cancer from air pollution in the country.

ERG's Solution

Using air samples analyzed by our laboratory, our human health experts evaluated risks that residents faced due to exposure to the facility’s emissions. The evaluation considered risks of developing cancer and other diseases. ERG also helped EPA pinpoint specific toxic emission sources within the facility, identify options to reduce facility emissions, and develop requirements for the facility to install controls and better monitor its emissions. These controls have significantly improved local air quality and reduced health risks, and ERG continues to support EPA in monitoring local air quality and assessing risks to ensure that air quality continues to improve.


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency