NEW ORLEANS (CN) – A woman claims the Chalmette Refining chemical plant polluted her neighborhood with a ton of clay dust and titanium oxide on Monday, sending her to the hospital and annoying the neighborhood with a “foul smell that caused personal harm, personal injury and property damage.”
Audrey Raymond says she was injured by the “one ton of catalyst in oil refining” that permeated the air as she stepped out Monday morning to proselytize for the Jehovah’s Witnesses. As she set out at 8 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 6, Raymond says, “she noticed a fine white dust covering the neighborhood, including her home, her yard, and her automobile.”
She claims Chalmette released the dust, kaolin and titanium oxide, which are catalysts it uses in its chemical plant. She claims that a ton of the stuff “caused the foul smell that caused personal harm, personal injury and property damage.”
She says she was treated at a hospital on Tuesday, for coughing, sore throat, burning and watery eyes and headache.
“While the symptoms seem to dissipate slightly when the plaintiff is away from the vicinity of her home, those symptoms are exacerbated when she returns home, and she continued to suffer from a sort throat, burning in the nose and eyes and headaches,” according to the complaint in Orleans Parish Court.
Raymond says the St. Bernard Parish Fire Chief warned that the dust can irritate people with respiratory problems and “advised residents of the area to wash off the substance, and to avoid the substance having contact with the eyes and mouth.”
In addition to Chalmette Refining, Raymond sued the Department of Environmental Quality, claiming it failed to inspect and regulate the refinery’s storage of the toxic substance and failed to respond to the release.
She is represented by Gregory Di Leo of New Orleans.