Harvey aftermath: Gulf Restoration Network surveys industries by - FOX29 Lake Charles

Harvey aftermath: Gulf Restoration Network surveys industries by air

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There's increasing concern about pollution from industries that were inundated with rain from Hurricane Harvey.

The Gulf Restoration Network and volunteers are surveying the region to investigate if any substances may have escaped into flood waters. They're working on what they call a reconnaissance mission to be an eye in the sky to survey industries in Texas and Louisiana - some of which flooded, some did not.

But Laura Cox with the Green Army says it's all a concern.

"Too many people have cancer, too many children are dying of cancers that are, a lot of time, very rare. A lot of people aren't even able to reproduce anymore. These are all endocrine disrupting chemicals that are being released into the air, water,"she said. 

She is convinced most companies are not able to contain toxic chemicals in much smaller floods, let alone Harvey.

"We have a lot of chemical plants here locally that I don't think are prepared for these kind of rain bomb events that we're experiencing now with these new issues of climate change,"said Cox. 

Scott Eustis is a coastal wetlands specialist with the environmental advocacy group.  They partner with a group called South Wings:

"Which recruits volunteer pilots to fly over facilities to monitor what they put into the water," said Eustis.

He says they will be submitting videos and photos they shoot to various government agencies now busy with rescuing people and other demands.

"We know the government isn't watching this.  They're taking care of certain things, but there are so many spills out in old drilling sites, and there's so much oil coming off the different refinery sites. We know on the Gulf Coast that we are the one's that have to take care of each other," said Eustis.

The network plans to document pollution and help reduce the escape of toxics into the environment in the future. 

"The facilities can be built to retain storm water on site to the amount of rain that we actually get, so that there aren't huge toxic releases into the rivers, that there aren't huge releases of oil into the rivers," he said.

But for now, the process continues--surveying the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey from the air and looking for environmental impact.  

We reached out to the Lake Area Industry Alliance to see if they had any reaction to the survey but have not yet been able to reach a spokesman - the office may be closed for the holiday.

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