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Local News

July 14, 2014

Residents speak out against ZeoGas at Port Arthur City Council hearing

PORT ARTHUR — Dougley Champ, resident: "You're talking about jobs? What about health? What about life? Do not bring this plant here."

• • •

Catherine Henry, resident, tears up speaking against ZeoGas. "You're telling me I'm irrelevant by putting this here."

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Anne Henry, resident: What are you trying to do to this area? All the other people moved. You know who I'm talking about..."

"Now all we got is black people. You trying to kill us?" Crowd cheers and lets out a collective "Amen!"

• • •

Beverly King, resident: "You want to know why our citizens are leaving? It's because of things like this."

 "Unfortunately, we are in trouble right now. But ZeoGas cannot be the answer. It is not, not in that location."

"Protect our children... If it gets in the water, we won't know until our babies come out and don't look right."

• • •

Matt Strauser, representing the land owners, requests to bring up ZeoGas contractors to discuss safety. Crowd loudly rejects.

Mayor Prince cuts Strauser short for referring to similar situation in Beaumont. Bishop calls out, "Go back to Nederland!" "ZeoGas will most likely move to Beaumont if they can't reach an agreement with the great city of Port Arthur"

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Jocelyn Seville: "We've had several blowups. You're risking our lives, our places of worship, our livelihood. No to ZeroGas [sic]"

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Rose Chaisson: "Just because we don't have a degree in whatever field you do does not mean we are uneducated about what we want."

Chaisson turns around and tells the crowd to give a resounding "no" to Strauser and ZeoGas. They comply like a rehearsed choir.

Mayor Prince lightly bangs her gavel, laughing, as she tells Chaisson her time is up. Crowd cheers for former councilwoman.

• • •

John Henry, resident: "Here in Port Arthur, our best resources, our best assets are our citizens. Not another plant."

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Christopher Jacobs, plant worker: "I meet more people from Port Arthur in refineries hundreds of miles away than I do right here."

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Leon Wright, "revolutionist": There's no excuse for what's happening, but there's a reason the cancer centers are being built here.”

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Brenda Addison, resident: We don't mind you wanting to come here, but building in that location is not right for our people.

• • •

Derrick Freeman: My father died of esophageal cancer working 30+ years in a refinery. I feel a lot of the same way that I've heard today.

• • •

Mayor Prince: It's obvious that the citizens don't want ZeoGas there, so for me, it's not up for discussion.

• • •

Councilman Raymond Scott Jr.: When the people speak, it's not up to Councilman Scott's decision. The decision has been made.

• • •

Councilman Willie Lewis: We've got one primary problem, the location. Passing this resolution would be premature.

Compiled from live tweets by staff writer Chelsea Henderson. Follow her on Twitter @crhenderson90.

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