VOICES

Heather McTeer Toney on recent chemical disasters in Texas and Louisiana

By: 

pcmcginley

When petrochemical facilities erupt into flames, sending toxic black clouds of smoke over nearby homes, how can families know if it’s safe to go outside?

The short answer, says Heather McTeer Toney, Executive Director of Beyond Petrochemicals, is that they can’t. Too often, there’s no way to know what’s in the air following chemical disasters, and this lack of transparency and accountability for petrochemical companies leaves communities exposed to toxic chemicals that threaten their health.

But it doesn’t have to be this way: these disasters are preventable, through better enforcement of environmental laws—and by stopping the expansion of these facilities into communities across the country.