Her concerns grew stronger after an explosion at Shell’s refinery in 1988. (The plant is now owned by Motiva, a joint-venture between Shell and Saudi Aramco, the Saudi national oil company). The explosion toppled a 16-story tower, and cracked walls and ceilings in houses and ceilings around Norco. It set off alarms 25 miles away in New Orleans.
Published on Tuesday, 12 November 2013
Margie Richard with a photo of her sister Naomi, who died at the age of 43. Richard suspected that emissions from Shell had something to do with making her sister sick. (Photo by Reid R. Fraiser / The Allegheny Front)
by Reid R. Frazier: The Allegheny Front
NORCO, La. — In June 2012, Pennsylvania officials flew to Louisiana to visit a couple of petrochemical plants owned by Shell, a company they were about to give big economic incentives to build a plant in Beaver County, Pa.
But they didn’t visit Margie Richard, who once lived in Norco, but now lives outside New Orleans.
If they had, they would have gotten another story about Shell’s operations here, a story about toxic emissions, industrial accidents, and how a very determined school teacher brought one of the largest companies in the world to the negotiating table.