Oxychem: 10 year of ‘Responsible Care’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 28, 1999

WALTER SMITH / L’Observateur / July 28, 1999

LUTCHER – Lutcher High School’s auditorium was filled with local citizens and special guests, recently, all on hand to celebrate 10 years of “Responsible Care” at the OxyChem Convent facility. They were also onhand to recognize two local citizens for their contributions to improving the quality of life in the parish. Receiving awards were Gerald Falgoust,director of Emergency Preparedness, and Janie Vee Henderson, instructional supervisor with the St. James Parish School System.The event, called “Celebrating Our Community,” began with a community forum featuring State Reps. Roy Quezaire (District 58) and RobertFaucheux (District 57) as well as Dr. Michele Sullivan of the ChemicalManufacturers Association.

“Responsible Care” is an initiative of the CMA,” said Sullivan. “It isdesigned to open channels of communication between chemical manufacturers and the communities in which they are located. Out ofhundreds of CMA member locations throughout the country, five have been selected to be honored in this way. OxyChem in Convent is the first amongthem.”OxyChem Plant Manager Phil Anastasio opened the forum by introducing the panel that also included Parish President Dale Hymel and Linda Brown of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

“Responsible Care imposes several codes of management practice on plants like ours,” explained Anastasio. “All of them are designed to involvecitizens in the local community.””We could not do without the economic impact of the chemical industry in the River Parishes,” said Quezaire. “But we have a lot to be proud of. Thereis a goodness in this area that is reflected in the people who live here.”Quezaire read a resolution from the Louisiana Legislature, which recognized OxyChem for receiving the annual Lantern Award.

“This is the highest award offered each year by the Office of Economic Development.It is presented to industries that go out of their way tosupport the economy and quality of life in the community.””A good quality of life is a priority for all of us in government leadership,” echoed Faucheux. “Responsible Care also means providing the jobs andrevenues our community needs.”Following the public forum, an awards ceremony was held. Falgoust wasrecognized as an emergency response leader throughout Louisiana and for being an industry partner in emergency preparedness.

“OxyChem has had a major impact on emergency preparedness in St.

James,” said Falgoust. “With their help, we have been able to develop ateam approach to address and solve problems as soon as they occur.”Henderson was honored for spearheading the adopt-a-school program between Romeville Elementary School and OxyChem. She has served on theCommunity Advisory panel for seven years and is a member of the Responsible Care Audit Team.

“OxyChem was the first to embrace a partnership between education and industry in this parish,” she said. “They have taken a results-orientedapproach and have made a major impact on education.”OxyChem employees are actively involved in over 200 community, religious, educational and support activities in St. James Parish.

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