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If the Keystone XL pipeline is approved, 90 percent of the tar sands crude that flows through it will be processed near an embattled Houston neighborhood called Manchester. It's residents are primarily Latinos and African Americans with many undocumented immigrants. You won't find children playing in Manchester's playground because playing outside for too long has children begin to cough.

From Kristin Moe at Yes!

Manchester, one of Houston’s oldest neighborhoods, is surrounded by industry on all sides: a Rhodia chemical plant; a car crushing facility; a water treatment plant; a train yard for hazardous cargo; a Goodyear synthetic rubber plant; oil refineries belonging to Lyondell Basell, Valero, and Texas Petro-Chemicals; as well as one of the busiest highways in the city. Industrial development continues uninterrupted down the Houston Ship Channel for another 50 miles south to the Gulf of Mexico. The refineries around Houston have been called the “keystone to Keystone” because they’re expected to process 90 percent of tar sands crude from Alberta if the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is completed. It’s one of the most polluted neighborhoods in the U.S., one where smokestacks grace every backyard view.


It took a groundbreaking study by the Houston Chronicle in 2005 to reveal for the first time the extent of the air pollution here. It identified five human carcinogens ( a 2010 EPA study identified eight), including enough benzene that one scientist told the Chronicle that living in Manchester was “like sitting in traffic 24/7.” Toxin levels “were high enough that they would trigger a full-scale federal investigation if these communities were hazardous waste sites,” the Chronicle wrote.

Given this, it’s easy to understand why there are so many chronic respiratory problems. But the health risks go beyond asthma: for children living within two miles of the Houston Ship Channel, chances of contracting acute lymphocytic leukemia are 56 percent higher than for children only ten miles away. “Children are being bombarded with toxins every day of their lives,”.

diarist emphasis

        Sam Avery Holding Banner -- Gary Locked to Wood Chipper
                                               Tar Sands Blockade

The Manchester neighborhood is fighting back but you don't hear very much about their fight  because with no political clout and with Valero Oil restricting the area to media it's a long shot. They want to move out but rents are higher elsewhere and it's impossible to sell because who wants to live next door to an oil refinery? These are the invisible people who would be most affected by the building of the Keystone XL pipeline.

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