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EPA chief visits 'cancer alley' on 3-state tour

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Michael Coleman's house is one of the last on his tiny street, squeezed between a sprawling oil refinery whose sounds and smells keep him up at night and a massive grain elevator that spews dust that covers his pickup and, he says, exacerbates his breathing problems. Coleman, 65, points to the oil storage tanks just outside his backyard. "We was surrounded by sugarcane, and now we're surrounded by (industrial) plants," he said. The oil company offered him a buyout, but Coleman rejected it, waiting for a "fair shake," he said in an interview on the front steps of the home he has lived in for more than 50 years. In the meantime, he copes with high blood pressure, thyroid problems and other health issues that he attributes to decades of pollution from his industrial neighbors, a Marathon Petroleum refinery and a Cargill grain depot.


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