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Toxic Pollution (1989)




Genre: Newsmagazine

Place Covered: East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 1989-01-22

Duration: 00:26:12

Subjects: Environment | Air pollution | Public health | HAZARDOUS WASTES


  • Masingale, Sonya Host
  • Orr, Mary Lee Interviewee
  • Watkins, Vincent Interviewee
  • Cage, Booker T. Interviewee
  • Cage, Alice Interviewee
  • Kemp, Albertha Interviewee
  • Barrow, Martha Interviewee
  • Barrow, Richmond Interviewee
  • Holden, Kip Interviewee
  • Fields, Cleo Interviewee
  • Fontenot, Willie Interviewee
  • Hardy, Tim Interviewee


This episode of the series “Folks” from January 22, 1989, focuses on toxic chemical pollution in Louisiana. Sonya Masingale reports on residents’ concerns about the burning of toxic chemicals by Rollins Environmental Services in the predominately-black communities of Alsen and St. Irma Lee in East Baton Rouge Parish. She interviews: Mary Lee Orr, the director of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network; Vincent Watkins, the field director for Christians for Good Government; Booker T. Cage and Alice Cage, Alsen residents; Albertha Kemp, Martha Barrow, and Richmond Barrow, St. Irma Lee residents; State Representative Kip Holden; and State Senator Cleo Fields. Masingale also conducts an in-studio interview with Willie Fontenot, an environmental specialist with the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, and Tim Hardy, the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Solid and Hazardous Waste with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). They discuss: the role of DEQ and the Attorney General’s Office in regulating the environment; the information required for chemical plants to receive permits to burn chemicals; the effectiveness of citizens’ group in dealing with environmental issues; and DEQ’s plans to increase environmental monitoring and enforcement.