Research and Policy Studies

The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice develops and manages innovative research and policy studies that build knowledge and inform policies for achieving environmental, climate and economic justice in the Louisiana Mississippi River Chemical Corridor and the Gulf Coast Region. 

The Center has a long history of valuable research that has produced the following:
  • The first maps showing the correlation between toxic pollution and race in the Mississippi River Chemical Corridor;
  • Environmental impact assessments of proposed industrial projects on nearby communities of color and poor communities; and
  • Data showing racial disparities in environmental health and climate vulnerabilities.
The Center studies local, state, federal and international policies to create opportunities for communities to have a voice in improving their environment, health and lives. The Center works collaboratively with communities for environmental, climate and economic policies that support the following:
  • Meaningful and effective public participation in governmental decision-making;
  • Healthful outcomes and the reduction of toxics and greenhouse gases; and
  • Economic justice and just transition.

The More Things Change, The More They Remain the Same: Living and Dying in Cancer Alley

​​​​​​​The Mississippi River Chemical Corridor, or Cancer Alley, produces one-fifth of the United States’ petrochemicals. In the early 1990s, Louisiana transformed this corridor, one of the poorest, slowest-growing sections of the state, into working-class communities. Once called a “massive human experiment,” the air, soil, and water in the Corridor absorb more toxic substances annually than do most entire states. To this day, Louisiana is consistently ranked among the states with the highest rates of cancer as a cause of death, with heart attack as the only one above it in 2019 and 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control. 

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"Surviving Cancer Alley Report"

The Mississippi River Chemical Corridor produces one-fifth of the United States' petrochemicals and transformed one of the poorest, slowest-growing sections of Louisiana into working class communities. Yet this growth has not come without a cost: the narrow corridor absorb more toxic substances annually than do most entire states.
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"Climate Action Equity Report"

This report is about how we live in New Orleans and the steps we can take to achieve equity through citywide action on climate change. In our city, African Americans, other people of color, low income families and individuals, the elderly and youth face various forms of inequity and are also vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
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