Moms are working in Louisiana to fight for clean air and a stable climate. We host events, share information about what’s going on, and create opportunities for mothers to talk to their legislators about their concerns. Please join us in Louisiana, and let us know about your priorities.
members in Louisiana
How we’re making a difference in Louisiana
Louisiana Moms Work for Justice in Every Breath
Moms Clean Air Force works actively in Louisiana to address climate change issues that disproportionately harm communities of color. We are committed to bringing moms together to develop events, policies, and actions to end environmental injustices in Louisiana.
Louisiana moms join members of Moms Clean Air Force across the country to demand stronger protections for soot pollution.
In February 2023, more than 60 Moms Clean Air Force staff and members, representing 18 states and DC, testified before EPA at a hearing on proposed federal standards for soot pollution. EPA’s soot proposal doesn’t go far enough to protect our children and communities from avoidable harms. Soot pollution is extremely dangerous and no amount of it is safe for us to breathe.
Moms Clean Air Force Louisiana coordinator Roishetta Ozane offered testimony. In her comments, Roishetta shared her concern about EPA’s decision not to update the 24-hour rule for soot pollution:
“As a mother who has two children with asthma, I also know that short-term soot pollution has consequences as well. I’m very concerned about the 24-hour soot standard because we live so close to several petrochemical facilities that release an insurmountable amount of pollution daily. The sudden increase in pollution due to malfunction or incident means our air becomes even more dangerous to breathe. This means keeping an even closer eye on my children’s health and the increased potential of one of my children having a catastrophic asthma attack.”
Read Roishetta’s testimony here.
Louisiana moms join Moms Clean Air Force members across the country to urge EPA to finalize strong methane standards that protect children’s health.
On January 10, 11, and 12, 2023, more than 60 Moms Clean Air Force staff and members from 21 states and Washington, DC, spoke out at EPA’s virtual public hearing about its updated proposal to cut methane and other harmful pollutants from new and existing oil and gas operations. The updated proposal from EPA would reduce methane pollution from sources covered by the rule by 87% below 2005 levels. It would also strengthen leak detection and repair requirements, continue to require equipment not to emit methane, address high-emission incidents with a new monitoring response program, and require that abandoned wells are subject to inspections until they are closed.
At the hearing, Moms applauded the updated rule but called on EPA to make it even stronger by fully eliminating pollution from routine flaring and ensuring frontline communities have the tools they need to hold polluters accountable.
Moms Clean Air Force Louisiana coordinator Roishetta Ozane offered testimony.
Moms Clean Air Force sounds the alarm about the climate crisis at Fire Drill Friday.
On December 2, 2022, Moms Clean Air Force joined Jane Fonda and Greenpeace USA at Freedom Plaza for the first in-person Fire Drill Friday in three years. The lineup of speakers included elected officials, celebrity guests, and frontline activists, including Roishetta Ozane, founder and director of The Vessel Project of Louisiana and Moms Clean Air Force’s new Louisiana state coordinator.
In her remarks, Roishetta spoke about her frontline community in Southwest Louisiana, which is surrounded by highly polluting oil and gas and petrochemical facilities. She spoke about how her family—and so many other families in their community—lost their home to back-to-back hurricanes in 2020. And she offered advice to lawmakers in Washington who want to make a real difference in communities like hers:
“Bring more of our community members to the table. Let them make the decisions. We’re the closest to the problems. So guess who has the solutions.”
Moms Clean Air Force joins Gulf Coast community leaders for a Funeral March to the White House.
On October 25, 2022, Moms Clean Air Force staff and members joined with community leaders from the Gulf Coast in front of the White House in Washington, DC, for a somber, second-line-style funeral procession to mourn the many lives lost in the region because of pollution from fossil fuel and petrochemical facilities. Community leaders demanded that President Biden meet with them and keep his promise to address environmental racism in the US by declaring a climate emergency and protecting the Gulf Coast from polluting petrochemical facilities.
RISE St. James, which planned the event, is a faith-based organization fighting to stop the proliferation of petrochemical industries in St. James Parish and other communities along the Gulf Coast. Roishetta Ozane, who represents her community in Southwest Louisiana and is a Moms Clean Air Force Louisiana state coordinator, had this to say as the crowd gathered at the White House:
“Enough is enough we are sick and tired of being a sacrifice zone… We are not going to move [from our homes] but we are going to fight against the industry that continues to contribute to our climate emergency.”
Watch the replay (Roishetta’s remarks begin at 44:00).
Moms Clean Air Force joins local leaders in campaign against harmful petrochemical development in Southeast Louisiana.
In the summer of 2021, Moms Clean Air Force National Field Manager Tonya Calhoun and Senior Advisor Heather McTeer Toney traveled to St. James Parish, Louisiana, as part of our partnership with local organization RISE St. James in their fight against Formosa Plastics and their $9.4 billion Sunshine Project. The Sunshine Project is a petrochemical complex planned for a 2,400-acre site on the west bank of the Mississippi River near the Sunshine Bridge. The complex will include six ethane cracker plants—industrial facilities that create the building blocks for plastics manufacturing—plus multiple power plants, a water treatment facility, and a transport facility.
During their trip to St. James, Tonya and Heather joined RISE St. James members to canvass the local community to talk about the potential for harmful pollution from the Sunshine Project, collected signatures on a petition calling for President Biden to revoke Formosa’s federal permits, and sat down with local leaders to talk about next steps in the Stop Formosa campaign.
Moms Clean Air Force joins the National Baptist Convention.
In September 2019, Community Rx consultant Tonya Calhoun, Moms’ National Field Director Heather McTeer Toney, and Moms’ Texas field organizer Catherine Flowers attended the National Baptist Convention (NBC) in New Orleans. Heather presented the Community Rx mission to the Women’s Auxiliary, which serves the needs of women in the NBC. She called on the Women’s Auxiliary to join the Community Rx program and “do the work!” She added, “We [Moms Clean Air Force members] are connecting with mothers across the globe who are Black, white, Latino, etc. God wants to make sure we have a livable earth and planet.”
Advocating for stronger protections against pollution from oil and gas operations.
Moms Clean Air Force Louisiana is working to enact the strongest possible controls to cut methane and other toxic pollutants from oil and gas operations across the state. This includes encouraging Governor John Edwards to enact strong safeguards for methane pollution.
Moms Clean Air Force Louisiana has also begun work to support EPA’s federal rules for new and existing oil and gas operations. Louisiana’s children deserve the strongest possible rules to cut oil and gas pollution from existing sources. We have a moral responsibility to ensure our kids have safe places to live, learn, and play.
Louisiana Moms are working to identify the intersections between state and federal policies and work with partners and organizations in a collaborative way to positively influence clean air and climate initiatives.
Fighting petrochemical buildout and protecting frontline communities.
Moms Clean Air Force Louisiana is engaged in initiatives to reduce and curtail the petrochemical buildout while working on community protections from existing petrochemical operations. With a focus on community and health impacts of petrochemical and plastic pollution, Moms in Louisiana will fight to protect frontline communities at all levels of government and through meaningful community engagement.
Supporting Black maternal health.
The United States has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the developed world, and this crisis is especially dire for Black moms, who are dying at 3 to 4 times the rate of their white counterparts. Moms Clean Air Force works with the Black Maternal Health Caucus to support policies that would protect Black maternal health in Louisiana and across the US. These important policies include investing in organizations that are working to improve the health of mothers and their babies; improving the conditions where people live, learn, work, and play, in order to improve the health of newborns; growing and diversifying the ranks of nurses, midwives, doulas, and other birthing professionals who help support pregnant women and their newborns; improving maternal mental health care and support for veterans and incarcerated mothers; and investing in community-based programs that can protect moms and babies from the impacts of climate change and calling for the identification of climate risk zones for pregnant and postpartum people.
Advocating for environmental justice through Community Healthy Equity.
Moms Clean Air Force is committed to exposing environmental injustices in the Black community by taking a stand against environmental discrimination, holding legislators accountable for lack of resources, educating communities on their rights and their issues, standing with impacted communities, and fighting for clean air and climate solutions to promote healthy children and healthy communities.
Through our environmental health justice program Community Health Equity, our goal is to advocate, educate, and amplify through partnering with impacted communities and environmental justice organizations on events and resource development. We hold Table Talks around the country, casual gatherings that organize, motivate, and activate volunteers, partner with churches to use our “Breath of Life” Bible Study, and provide information on environmental health issues in African-American communities.
Frequent flooding and sea-level rise endanger our coastal communities.
Communities along the Louisiana coast have seen the sea-level rise more than 2 feet over the last 70 years, one of the highest rates of sea-level rise in the world. Louisiana is also home to the largest population center at risk of sea-level rise: New Orleans.
Sea-level rise in Louisiana combined with heavier rainfall contributes to frequent tidal flooding, particularly during the fall months, endangering families and causing missed work and school days. Without action on the root causes of climate change—air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels—by 2045 more than 29,000 households in the state will be at risk of chronic flooding and displacement.
Sea-level rise is not just threatening communities, it’s threatening the livelihood of Louisianans who rely on a healthy coastline for work—those in the fishing, boating, and tourism industries. Limiting the pollution that fuels extreme weather and threatens our coastal resources is more important than ever.
Our families are suffering from heat-related disease and death.
Because of climate change, Louisiana is experiencing more frequent heat waves, worsening outdoor air quality, a longer mosquito season, and some of the hottest summers on record. As average summer temperatures rise so does heat-related illness, like heat stroke and dehydration. On average, 2,700 Louisianans visit the emergency room for heat-related illness each year.
Children, pregnant women, older adults, and low-income populations experience disproportionate impacts from extreme heat. Rising temperatures and poor air quality are associated with increased risk of preterm birth and maternal and infant mortality. And families with limited financial resources may not have access to adequate cooling or the medical care needed to treat heat-related illness.
Petrochemical facilities put our communities at risk.
More than 150 petrochemical facilities dot the banks of the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Along this 85-mile stretch of the river, there is a higher than average rate of cancer among residents.
The petrochemical industry creates extraordinary amounts of pollution. Some of the most harmful pollutants include benzene, ethylene oxide, formaldehyde, chloroprene, PFAS, vinyl chloride, and trichloroethylene. Breathing air pollution from petrochemical facilities can not only increase the risk of cancer, but also contribute to adverse birth outcomes, more asthma and respiratory illness, and kidney disease. Many studies address the health implications of petrochemical pollution for adults, but infants and children may be especially vulnerable since they breathe more and drink more (for their size), live closer to the ground (where many pollutants concentrate), and have sensitive, rapidly developing organ systems.
On March 9, Moms Clean Air Force showed up in force for the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hearing about the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. No one from the community was invited to testify at the hearing, so three Moms members from East Palestine came to put a face to the disaster. Moms Clean Air Force staff and members from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Louisiana, New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington, DC, also attended. Watch our Moms in action.
On March 4, Moms Clean Air Force Louisiana coordinator Roishetta Ozane joined the League of Women Voters of Louisiana for their annual state convention, this year titled “Envirocivics: Environment, Communities and Democracy.” Roishetta and her fellow speakers, including General Russel Honore, Colette Pichon Battle, and Andrew Jacoby, addressed the political, social, and economic dimensions of Louisiana’s environmental issues.
In February, Moms Clean Air Force Louisiana coordinator Roishetta Ozane joined more than 60 Moms Clean Air Force staff and members across the country to testify at the EPA hearing on proposed federal standards for soot pollution. Read Roishetta’s testimony here.
On January 23, Moms Clean Air Force Louisiana coordinator Roishetta Ozane helped distribute food with the Second Harvest Food Bank at the Calcasieu Parish Workforce Center.
On January 16, Moms Clean Air Force Louisiana coordinator Roishetta Ozane participated in the MLK Day Beach Cleanup at McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge Beach. The event was sponsored by Moms Clean Air Force, the Vessel Project of Louisiana, the Resilience Is Power Program, Climate Justice Texas, and the Sierra Club.
On January 10, 11, and 12, more than 60 Moms Clean Air Force staff and members from 21 states and Washington, DC, spoke out at EPA’s virtual public hearing about its updated proposal to cut methane and other harmful pollutants from new and existing oil and gas operations. Moms Clean Air Force Louisiana coordinator Roishetta Ozane offered testimony. Read Roishetta’s testimony here.
On December 2, Moms Clean Air Force Louisiana coordinator Roishetta Ozane joined Jane Fonda in DC for the first in-person Fire Drill Friday in three years. Roishetta addressed the crowd as the founder and director of the Vessel Project of Louisiana about impacts in her frontline community.
On October 25, Moms Clean Air Force joined RISE St. James at Freedom Plaza in DC to demand that President Biden protect communities in Cancer Alley from the petrochemical pollution that’s making them sick.
Community Rx consultant Tonya Calhoun, Moms’ National Field Director Heather McTeer Toney, and Moms’ Texas field organizer Catherine Flowers attended the National Baptist Convention (NBC) in New Orleans.
- Press release, STRONG PETROCHEMICAL RULES ARE ONE STEP CLOSER TO REALITY WITH EPA PROPOSAL, BUT MORE SAFEGUARDS ARE NEEDED TO PROTECT PEOPLE LIVING NEAR FACILITIES
- Press release, Louisiana Mom Impacted by Toxic Pollution Will Attend EPW Senate Hearing on Ohio Train Derailment & Chemical Disaster; Contact Us for Interviews
- Press release, THIS WEEK: Scores of Moms in Louisiana and Nationwide Testify at EPA Soot Hearing, Expressing Deep Disappointment in Proposed Rule that Falls Short of Protecting Our Health
- Press release, February 21, 22, & 23: Scores of Moms in Louisiana and Nationwide Testify at EPA Soot Hearing, Expressing Deep Disappointment in Proposed Rule that Falls Short of Protecting Our Health