ProtectAfrica

Ensuring Life, Health and Prosperity for Future Generations

> Witnesses Wait (DDT Cleanup in Gert Town, New Orleans)

Site of the former Thompson Hayward Chemical Co., which the state of Louisiana has cleaned up. (Photo: Ingrid Lobet) 

Listen to the Full Interview or Read the Transcript

CURWOOD: And here’s another tale of who gets to live on polluted soil. It’s the story of three acres of land and the community surrounding it. It’s a part of New Orleans, known as Gert Town. About 70 years ago, the Thompson Hayward Chemical Company bought the plot and set up a small operation mixing pesticides, often outdoors.

Cane farmers bought the insecticides and by the 1960’s, plantations, exterminators, and even the federal government turned to Thompson Hayward for chemicals such as DDT, Aldrin, and the one locals called “leaf drop” – Agent Orange. But in the late 1980’s when Louisiana found the plant was dumping solvents into sewers, state authorities shut it down. And ever since, homeowners in Gert Town have hoped for full cleanup. But as Living on Earth’s Ingrid Lobet reports, they’re still waiting.

Excerpted from: Living on Earth

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