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'They're killing us,' Texas residents say of Trump rollbacks

The Texas Gulf Coast
Trump administration’s
Environmental Protection Agency
Texas A & M
Port Arthur
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
The Associated Press
Houston Chronicle

Danielle Nelson’s
Donald Trump
Andrew Wheeler
Andrea Woods
Mustafa Santiago Ali
Barack Obama
Hilton Kelley
Juan Flores
Felicia Lacy
Hurricane Harvey
Cruz Hinojosa
Port Arthur
Bridgette Murray

African American
African Americans

Texas Gulf Coast
the Texas Gulf Coast
Hispanic Galena Park

Port Arthur

United States’
Galena Park

Hurricane Harvey

Positivity     41.00%   
   Negativity   59.00%
The New York Times
Write a review: Associated Press

“They’re basically killing us,” says the 37-year-old, who herself has been diagnosed with respiratory problems since moving to the community after Hurricane Harvey in 2017.“We don’t even know what we’re breathing,” she says.The Texas Gulf Coast is the United States’ petrochemical corridor, with four of the country’s 10 biggest oil and gas refineries and thousands of chemical facilities.Residents of the mostly black and Latino communities closest to the refineries and chemical plants say that puts them on the front line of the Trump administration’s rollbacks of decades of public health and environmental protections. Last month, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Andrew Wheeler, a coal lobbyist before Trump appointed him to the agency, announced enforcement waivers for industries on monitoring, reporting and quickly fixing hazardous releases, in cases the EPA deems staffing problems related to the coronavirus pandemic made compliance difficult.Since then, air pollutants in Houston’s most heavily industrialized areas have surged as much as 62%, a Texas A & M analysis of state air monitor readings found.EPA says it is balancing public and business interests in trimming what the Trump administration considers unnecessary regulations.“Maintaining public health and enforcing existing environmental protections is of the upmost importance to EPA,” agency spokeswoman Andrea Woods said by email. Latino residents, afraid of attracting official attention, lay low and don’t often complain, resident and activist Juan Flores says.Even before the Trump administration began the rollbacks, Houston’s urban freeways and industries were pumping enough poisonous refinery chemicals, heavy metals, and diesel and car exhaust to “almost certainly” be to blame for some respiratory problems and early deaths, as well as an “unacceptable increased risk” for cancers and chronic disease, concluded a landmark city task force, started in 2005 to study the health impacts.Residents of some predominantly minority Houston neighborhoods face at least three times the cancer risks of Americans overall, according to a 2014 EPA assessment, the most recent available.Last year, state health officials confirmed a cancer cluster in one African American Houston neighborhood where residents had for years complained that creosote from a former rail yard was killing multiple members of families.

As said here by ELLEN KNICKMEYER