Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman interviews Stephanie Thomas after the Arkema chemical plant explosion in Texas

By Amy Goodman

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to bring Stephanie Thomas into this conversation, Houston-based organizer for Public Citizen. Your response to what’s happening right now in Crosby, to what the public has a right to know?

STEPHANIE THOMAS: Yes, Amy. Yesterday, I drove from Houston to Baytown, which is about 15 miles south of Crosby. And in that drive, I could see the plume of smoke coming toward that community. And people are very concerned about their health, about their well-being, whether the air that they’re breathing is really safe to breathe. And there’s this complication, because right now there’s also a lot of flooding that has happened in our area. So, even though they did evacuate the one-and-a-half-mile radius, there were people outside of that radius who were considering evacuating and weren’t sure if it was safe to do so, if the roads were going to be passable, because we still have a lot of water on the ground here. And I think another point of this is, it’s contributing a lot more concern about air quality. We already have seen a lot of reports to TCEQ, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, about emission events during the past week due to Hurricane Harvey. So people are very concerned about what they’re breathing in and whether—whether this is as safe as the officials are saying that—you know, that it’s safe.

Read the full interview.