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Louisiana Democracy Project, Inc.
Pray for Our Air

Put Our Air in your Daily Prayer


The Louisiana Democracy Project began the  Pray for Our Air Program  December 17, 2001after two LDP members attended a public hearing sponsored by DEQ.   ExxonMobil  requested an air permit which would allow it to emit an additional 649 tons of pollution into the air in the production of its new Tier2 low sulfur gas.

 Notification of the public hearing had been sent out during the Christmas holidays, the 6:00 pm hearing had a 4:30 p.m.  close on written comment deadline.   There were only 5 citizens present at the January 17th proceedings the rest of the room was full of industry people.  Those citizens present requested an extension for public comment.  The following day which was a Friday we were told we could have until the following Friday  which was January 25th for written public comment.  The 5 citizens present were active members of Louisiana Democracy Project, Inc., North Baton Rouge Environmental Association, AWARE, LEAN and Young Important People (mentored by LDP).   

            The Tulane Environmental Law Clinic explained that they could find no legal grounds to oppose the permit but they did provided us with a list of the chemicals to be emitted, 30.83 tons of Particulate Matter, 85.55 tons of Sulfur Dioxide, 279.36 tons of Carbon Monoxide, 85 tons of Volatile Organic Compounds- a precursor to ozone, 169.17 tones of Nitrogen Oxide.  LEAN (La. Environmental Action Network ), said they could find no technical grounds to oppose the permit however they  shared information on East Baton Rouge Parish, second in the state for toxic air emissions part of a five parish area which is  a serious ozone non-attainment area.  

Assessing the magnitude of the problem and the limited time,  Louisiana Democracy Project, Inc. sent out a fax to everyone in its data base calling for prayer over the situation.   Next we produced a form requesting public comments and we went to the streets.   With help from the other organizations we collected 590 comments.  WBRZ Channel 9 news interviewed president Stephanie Anthony and ran the fax number for the La. Department of Environmental Quality the day before deadline.  Former Congressmen and current State Senator Cleo Fields saw the broadcast put in an angry call to LaDEQ demanding more time since his constituents did not have fax machines and deserved to be heard.          

            Many interesting, previously unknown facts came out in that town hall meeting including the fact that the air monitor on Southern Universitys campus which is located within 2 miles of ExxonMobil went off 50 times last year.  Which means the air in that area exceeded the threshold set by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality for pollution at least 50 times.

            The Louisiana Democracy Project is a  grassroots based organization founded in 1998 to ensure the recognition of the fundamental rights of political, economic, and environmental self-determination for disenfranchised Louisiana citizens.

            Nine other refineries in Louisiana are expected to apply for the same permit as ExxonMobil, La. Democracy Project has called for a moratorium on air permits.  We believe that no air permits should be given out until Baton Rouge is in compliance with the federal Clean Air Act.



La. Democracy Project asks every one to put our air in your daily prayer.  If you belong to a congregation which has weekly prayer service please include our air in your public prayer.  If you would like to speak to your group please contact president,  Stephanie Anthony (225) 357-7425