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The Silent Disaster: Hazardous Waste Disposal in Louisiana (1978)

Louisiana: The State We're In



Genre: News, Public Affairs

Place Covered: Bayou Sorrel, Iberville Parish, Louisiana, Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, Iberville Parish, Louisiana, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 1978-08-25

Duration: 00:22:06

Subjects: Environment | HAZARDOUS WASTES | PETROCHEMICAL INDUSTRY | Jackson, Kirtley M., d. 1978 | Ewell, Edmund | Louisiana. Department of Natural Resources | Louisiana. Department of Health and Human Resources | Louisiana Legislative Session, 1978 | Environmental law | Petro Processors of Louisiana, Inc.


  • George, Beth Host
  • Blome, Ron Host
  • Millet, Columbus. Jr. Speaker
  • Ewell, Edmund Interviewee
  • Sanchez, Louis Interviewee
  • Hutchinson, Jim Interviewee
  • Cherry, William Interviewee
  • Edwards, Edwin Interviewee
  • Fernandez, Manny Interviewee


This segment from the August 25, 1978, episode of “Louisiana: The State We’re In” features a special in-depth report into hazardous waste disposal in Louisiana. This report includes: the concerns of residents in Bayou Sorrel after the death of teenager Kirtley Jackson at the Bayou Sorrel Hazardous Waste Pit; Edmund Ewell of Baton Rouge suing the neighboring Petro Processors waste facility, which damaged 500 acres of his land after the waste seeped into his property; the Iberville Parish Police Jury passing a law to prohibit waste disposal in the parish and the plans of the Department of Natural Resources to combat the issue in the future; Dr. William Cherry of the Health Department discussing the difficulties of regulating dumps in the state; Governor Edwin Edwards announcing a six-month moratorium on the opening of new hazardous waste sites; and State Representative Manny Fernandez discussing his bill that was passed in the 1978 Regular Session that will provide procedures for the handling of hazardous waste. Host: Beth George Host: Ron Blome