2013 Clean Air Ambassador: Hilton Kelley

Clean Air Ambassador | Port Arthur, tx
Hilton Kelley
Community In-power and Development
  • The Story
    Behind This Photo


    Every year, thousands of tons of incredibly dangerous pollutants—sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and volatile organic compounds—are released into the environment. As a result, the very air that we breathe to stay alive is contaminated.

    In Port Arthur, TX, the low-income, people-of-color community where I live, a disproportionate number of my neighbors are impacted by toxic air pollution. One out of every five households has a child that is suffering with asthma or other illnesses connected to breathing contaminated air. At least twice a month, one of the many oil refineries or chemical plants in Port Arthur belches out massive amounts of pollution, as seen in this photo. We are quite literally sick of it, so we are fighting to get these industrial giants to reduce the amount of sickening pollution they release by upgrading their old, dirty machinery. Our lives depend on it.

Ambassador  Katharina Hathaway MD.
Ambassador  Jacqueline Smith .
Ambassador Aimee   Lassiter.
Ambassador Andre   Gibson.
Ambassador Robyn   Hartwig.
Ambassador Asa   Sealy.

In the First Person:

One out of every five households in the low income, people of color community here in Port Arthur Texas, has a child that is suffering with asthma and other contaminated air relate

Port Arthur, Texas, is home to more than five large refineries and six chemical plants, one incinerator facility and a Coca-Cola plant.

Every month, one or the other has an emissions event. When this happens, these facilities release large amounts of petroleum toxins into the air. Some of the chemicals are known carcinogens, like benzene and 1-3 butadiene, and many of the other chemicals impact the respiratory system and bloodstream.

It’s time our federal and local governments do more to protect human health from these big polluters and push them to obey the Clean Air Act laws that are presently stated by federal law and upgrade their antiquated units.

Our congressman, Ted Poe, should take a stand and do more to protect the health of the people that he has committed to serve. A disproportionate number of people are suffering in our communities from being exposed to toxic emissions. One out of every five households in the low income, people of color community here in Port Arthur, Texas, has a child suffering with asthma and other contaminated air related illnesses—and we are sick of it. Put people first, not big polluters!

Messages of Support:

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