Mossville, Louisiana Bibliography

 Updated July 6, 2017 by Pati Threatt

This bibliography remains incomplete as the Mossville, Louisiana environmental issues continue to develop. The Archives and Special Collections Department keeps paper copies of most of the articles listed below in Pamphlet File 1597. Members of the McNeese community and Friends of the Library can access many of the articles by searching the Ebsco Discovery Service from the Library's home page and LexisNexis from the databases page. The Serials Department holds microfilm copies of two Mossville area newspapers: The Westlaker (1962-1978) and The Westlake/Moss Bluff News (1979-1995). Please consult the Reference Department for access. Local news media, including the American Press and KPLC, also hold a wealth of information. For more information, email a request to the McNeese Archives.

Newspaper and Journal articles | Manuscript Collections, Oral Histories, and Government Documents | Web links

Newspaper and Journal articles  [In chronological order]

Joe Mathews. "Paying neighbors to move Mossville: Residents of this Louisiana town, like those in Wagner's Point here, faced a showdown with Condea Vista. Their experience is instructive." Sun, The (Baltimore, MD), December 06, 1998. Available here.

Margaret Kriz. “The color of poison.” National Journal. Vol. 30, No. 28 (July 11, 1998), pp. 1608-1611.
Abstract: Deals with the protest of the Mothers of Mossville organization to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about the pollution they suffered from a chemical plant in Mossville, Louisiana. Purpose of states officials in permitting chemical plants to move into the Mossville region; Overview of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 that has been violated by the state officials; Implication of the protest filed by the residents.  

“Foster orders investigation into contamination.” Greater Baton Rouge Business Report. Vol. 17, No. 18 (April 27, 1999), p. 8.
Abstract: Reports that Louisiana Governor Mike Foster has created a task force to address health concerns of residents in Mossville, one of the state's most polluted area. Preliminary results of a health study which showed that Mossville residents have elevated levels of dioxin-like compounds in their blood; Health effects of dioxin-like compounds; Functions of the task force.  

“Black Louisianans fight industrial pollution.” New York Amsterdam News. Vol. 90, No. 41 (October 7, 1999), pp. 4-6.
Abstract: Reports on the involvement of residents from the primarily African-American area of Mossville, Louisiana, in protest actions calling for a phase-out of toxic chemicals worldwide. Participation in Greenpeace's lobbying efforts against toxic chemicals in Geneva, Switzerland, where negotiations will be held on a treaty to control Persistent Organic Pollutants.

John McQuad. “Mystery in the Blood.” Amicus Journal. Vol. 23, No. 1 (March 1, 2001), pp. 33-36. 4p. 2 Color Photographs, 1 Diagram, 1 Map. 
Abstract: Deals with high levels of dioxins in blood of several Afro-American residents in Mossville, Louisiana. Absence of an apparent explosion or industrial accident; Uncertainty about health risks; Rare case of documented chemical poisoning; Exposure to a variety of other ailments; Factors that have threatened to derail efforts to address the health concerns of Mossville.

Eric Cormier. "Gathering at Mossville." Louisiana Life. Publication Date: Summer 2003, pp. 40-45.

“Greenpeace, Habitat for Humanity home is protest against production of polyvinyl chloride.”
New Orleans City Business. Publication Date: April 05, 2004

Megan Kamerick. “House of ill dispute.” New Orleans City Business. Vol. 24, No. 41 (April 05, 2004), p. 27.
Abstract: Discusses the construction of a Habitat for Humanity home without the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) materials in New Orleans, Louisiana. Collaboration with the organization Greenpeace; Designation of Louisiana as the home of the largest concentration of vinyl producers in the United States; Ways in which the construction site has become a focal point for environmental health activists; Toxicity of PVC; Goal of the Habitat project of proving that alternative building materials can be used.

Steve Toloken. “Law firm says vinyl site violates human rights.” Plastics News. Vol.17, No. 3 (March 21, 2005), p. 19.
Abstract: This article reports that a New Orleans, Louisiana-based environmental law firm is advancing the argument that pollution from vinyl plants and chemical sites near an African American community amounts to a human rights violation. The Advocates for Environmental Human Rights is asking the Organization of American States, an international body of 34 countries, whose goal is to promote democracy and human rights in the Western Hemisphere, to investigate its claim that weak environmental laws essentially sanction pollution in Mossville, Louisiana. It said, for example, that the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry found that Mossville residents have dioxin levels in their blood at three times the U.S. average.

“Town Seeks Right to Clean Environment.”
Indoor Environment Quality Strategies. Vol. 18, No. 5 (May 2005), pp. 14-15.
Abstract: Reports on the petition filed by the lawyers from Advocates for Environmental Human Rights on behalf of residents of Mossville, Louisiana, with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States which seeks remedies such as medical services and reform of the existing environmental regulatory system, as of May 2005. Problem with the industrial facilities in Mossville; Findings regarding emissions of human carcinogen vinyl chloride and dioxins; Background of Monique Harden, an lawyer involved in the suit.

Nikki Bannister. “Black Town Fights For Clean Community.” Crisis. Vol. 112, No. 3 (May/June 2005), p. 8.
Abstract: Reports on the efforts of the Mossville Environmental Action Now (MEAN) to ensure the environmental public safety of residents in Louisiana in 2005. Information on the health problems being experienced by the residents in Mossville due to the toxic pollutants released by several chemical plants in the city; Views of MEAN president Edgar Mouton on the number of people dying in their community; Overview of a petition filed by MEAN with the Organization of American States' Inter-American Commission on Human Rights against the U.S.

“Action Line.”
Everyone's Backyard. Vol. 23, No. 3 (Fall 2005), pp. 6-8.
Abstract: The article presents news briefs on environment protection in different states in the United States. The Alaska Community Action on Toxics has succeeded in getting the state legislature to pass by a 17-2 vote a bill that requires public notice when pesticides are applied in parks, public sports fields, government buildings, or common use areas around apartment buildings. The bill also shifts the burden of funding the state's pesticide program from the state's general fund to fees paid by chemical companies. Workers at the second worst toxic chemical emitter in Arizona, Asarco Inc.'s Hayden Smelter, are teaming up with environmentalists and community leaders to turn knowledge about the company's poor labor and environmental behavior into action on social, economic and health problems faced by residents and workers. Residents of Mossville, Louisiana secured a major victory recently when a federal court threw out the United States Environmental Protection Agency's woefully inadequate emissions standard for polyvinyl chloride facilities.

“Dumping on our Communities.”
Essence. Vol. 38, No. 3 (July 2007), pp. 150-151.
Abstract: The article features the African American communities in the U.S. where toxic wastes are being dumped. The rural community of Mossville, Louisiana, is home to 300 residents and 17 major industrial facilities, many of which have admitted to releasing millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into the air and water. A chemical plant in the mostly African-American neighborhood of Sweet Valley Cobb Town, in Anniston, Alabama, has released noxious chemicals into the air, lakes, rivers and soil.

Adrianne Appel. “Tiny Town Demands Justice In Dioxin Poisoning.” Rachel's Democracy & Health News. Issue 918 (August 2, 2007), p. 3.
Abstract: The article reveals that people in Mossville, Louisiana are being exposed to unusually high levels of dioxin compounds coming from factories in the area. Residents want an end to the pollution and want to be moved away from the factories but there is no visible action coming from the government. In 2005, a local Mossville environmental group filed a petition against the U.S. government on the grounds that Mossville's environmental human rights are being violated.

"Report Urges Agency Action on Dioxin Found in Louisiana Town." BNA's Environmental Compliance Bulletin 14, no. 18 (August 27, 2007): 282. GreenFILE, EBSCOhost (accessed May 15, 2014).
Abstract: The article focuses on the report "Industrial Sources of Dioxin Poisoning in Mossville, Louisiana: A Report Based on the Government's Own Data." The report reveals that 90 percent of Mossville residents have illnesses the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has linked to dioxin exposure. According to the National Academies, dioxins are also linked to immune system problems and reproductive and developmental damage.

Mike Schade. “Landmark Victory!” Everyone's Backyard. Vol. 25, No. 4 (Winter 2007), pp. 3-4.
Abstract: The article focuses on the first-hand account of the author on the campaign in phasing out the poison plastic, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in the U.S. He said that the success was attained because of the help of grassroots health and environmental organizations. He added that the campaign was launched as part of the Center for Health, Environment and Justice's (CHEJ) national prevent harm strategy to avoid using toxic chemicals because they can affect the health of individuals and the environment. The author said that Mossville, Louisiana is surrounded by a toxic cluster of four vinyl production facilities.

Mike Verespej. “EPA sued over emissions rules.” Plastics News. Vol. 20, No. 34 (October 27, 2008), pp. 3-4.
Abstract: The article reports that three environmental groups have filed a lawsuit to force the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue standards regulating all hazardous air emissions from polyvinyl chloride manufacturing plants. The lawsuit was filed on October 22, 2008 in District Court for the District of Columbia by nonprofit environmental law firm Earthjustice. The company is acting on behalf of the Sierra Club and Louisiana community action groups in Mossville and Baton Rouge.

"Sarah Lawrence College Health Advocacy Graduate Students to Assist Residents of 'Toxic Town' During Spring Break, March 19 - 27." Ascribe Newswire: Medicine, March 17, 2010, 2, GreenFILE, EBSCOhost (accessed May 15, 2014).
Abstract: The article focuses on graduate students of Sarah Lawrence College who provided assistance to the residents of Mossville, Louisiana related to health care issues. It reports that these students assessed the community health needs, established free health clinics and addressed health issues of the residents related to air and water pollution. It states that fieldwork activities by students would include surveying the residents, environmental scanning and contribution to the current situation.

Rudy M. Baum. "Ganging Up On Chemicals ." Chemical & Environmental News. Vol. 88, Issue 23 (June 7, 2010), p. 3.

Dianne Saxe. "Pollution and human rights." Hazmat Management 22, No. 3 (Summer 2010), p. 46.
Abstract: In this article the author discusses the environmental racism and human rights lawsuit filed by the African American residents of Mossville, Louisiana against the U.S. She mentions the environmental and health problems caused by pollution from several industries in the area including oil refineries, vinyl chloride manufacturers and coal burning power stations. Also investigated are two articles breached by the U. S. government regarding the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.

Michele Roberts. "A Community's Fight for the Human Right to a Healthy Environment." Clearinghouse Review. Vol. 45, Issue 5/6 (September/October 2011) , p257-258, 2p.
Abstract: The article presents a reprint of the article “A Community's Fight for the Human Right to a Healthy Environment,” by Michele Roberts, published by the Poverty and Race Research Action Council, which appeared in the May-June issue of the “Poverty & Race" magazine. It provides information about the efforts of an African American community from Mossville, Louisiana to fight for human rights amidst environmental contamination of the region from industrial pollution.

Jeannine Cahill-Jackson. "Mossville Environmental Action Now v. United States: Is a Solution to Environmental Injustice Unfolding?" Pace International Law Review Online Companion. Vol. 3, Issue 6 (May 2012), preceding p173-208. 37p.
Abstract: The article focuses on a court case between the nonprofit Mossville Environmental Action Now and the U.S. and environmental injustice in the U.S. It states that the lawsuit was related to hazardous substances to which people of Mossville, Louisiana were exposed because of companies in the place. A study reveals that dioxin was more in residents of Mossville.

Mike Verespej. “Lawsuits take on EPA: Groups challenge rules on PVC plant emissions.” Plastics News. Vol. 24 (June 25, 2012), p. 1.

Rick Mullin. "Mossville’s end." Chemical & Environmental News. Vol. 94, Issue 12 (March 21, 2016), pp. 33-45.

Rick Mullin. "An oral history project aims to preserve Mossville." Chemical & Environmental News. Vol. 94, Issue 12 (March 21, 2016), p. 41.


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Manuscript Collections, Oral Histories, and Government Documents

The Calcasieu Estuary Environmental Task Force Collection is a complete depository of documents produced by the task force for public use.  For a list of documents in the collection:
-Go to the Library homepage (
-Type "calcasieu estuary" in the search box at the top right
Please contact the
Government Information Department for
access to these materials.

Public Health Assessment : Review of Data from the 2010 EPA Mossville Site Investigation; Mossville, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana / prepared by Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Public Health, Section for Environmental Epidemiology and Toxicology under cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. n.p.: Louisiana : Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, 2013.
Please contact the Government Information Department for access to this document.

The Dr. C. W. Fogleman collection, 1960-1983.  Includes community studies of Louisiana towns written by students of Dr. Fogleman. Guide to the collection available here.
Please contact the Archives and Special Collections Department for access to these materials.

In 2015, LSU's T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History collaborated with the Imperial Calcasieu Museum to document the history of Mossville. In addition to sharing family histories, interviewees discuss their upbringing, home remedies, the importance of religion, education, and athletics, local leaders and politics, gardening, raising livestock, integration, and what Mossville means to them personally. Other topics discussed include the impact of industrialization, segregation, property buyouts, water contamination, and environmental justice. Most interviewees were raised in Mossville, but several grew up elsewhere and they offer a unique perspective of Mossville’s place in history. Available here:

Web links

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has many documents about Mossville. Search for "Mossville" to retrieve the documents. See also the EPA's Region 6 Superfund site here which includes Calcasieu Parish.


The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has many documents about Mossville. Search for "Mossville" to retrieve the documents.

Cable News Network (CNN) has produced several television programs about Mossville. Search for "Mossville" to retrieve the video.
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