By Lucia Graves and Jordan Howard at Huffington Post
WASHINGTON — David Bouie, a 64-year-old resident of Crossett, Ark., says something isn’t right on Penn Road. In the 15 homes on his street, 11 people have recently died of cancer. The casualties include George Parker and his wife, Ollie Parker, as well as Bobbie Sue Gibbs and her neighbor Tom Perkins, both of whom passed away with multiple cancers. Dolores Wimberly, a former neighborhood resident, says her daughter Laetitia, a nonsmoker, died of lung cancer at 43; and Penn Road resident Norma Thompson says her husband died of lung cancer, while she continues to have breathing problems, often relying on a respirator.
“Whenever we take a trip out of town, our respiratory system seems to get better,” said David Bouie’s wife, Barbara, who has spent her entire life in Crossett, the largest city in Ashley County. “I don’t have trouble breathing, or use my eye drops, or anything. But when we come home, it starts all over again — the headache, everything.”
A provocative new video by political filmmakers Brave New Films says that Crossett residents who suffer from poor air quality and ambient carcinogens are victims of pollution emitted by a Koch Industries-owned paper manufacturer, Georgia-Pacific. The plant is located directly upstream from the channel behind Penn Road. “Whatever’s in (the water) is killing these trees,” says David Bouie in the video. “You can see the steam coming from the stuff. It gets up in the air, and it flows over where our property is.”
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