EXPOSÉ: America's Investigative Reports
EXPOSÉ 2008 Season
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In Harm's Way

Emmett Dunn

Emmett Dunn

Emmett Dunn was one of our volunteers in the Manchester area. He actually lives on the other side of Manchester, the area known as the Allendale area. This picture captures the whole entire series and what it was about. It was about people who live in close proximity to industrial facilities in the Houston area and in southeast Texas. Generally it was about their concerns -- looking out every night and seeing those twinkling lights and wondering what was in their air. I found Emmett literally by knocking on his door, one day. He was on one street called Goldberg street. His house and the house beside him had the highest levels of any house that we monitored in our study. Both of them had extremely high levels of butadiene, which is a chemical used to make rubber and used in rubber tires.

The Houston area is an ideal laboratory for this. We have no zoning for Houston, Texas. We are the largest city in America without any zoning laws. You have this situation much more commonly in Houston that you would have in other industrial areas like northern New Jersey, for instance, or Philadelphia or California. You're not going to see this close proximity. Emmett is the closest in Houston, but you see this proximity...residents living next to chemical facilities and refineries all the way down the Houston ship channel, which goes from Houston to the Gulf of Mexico. You will see this in Beaumont, in Port Arthur, and you will see this in Port Neches. You'll see this in Freeport, Texas. Unfortunately it is not uncommon. It's extremely common in Houston, Texas, to have people living, breathing, working, and playing near major industrial facilities.

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