Breaking the PBF Energy Oil Spill in Chalmette, LA
Fourteen days into the job I witnessed the positive impact the Pipeline Safety Trust (PST) imparts on our society. Actually, I didn’t just witness the impact, I helped create it. In early January 2021, I assisted in making the 350,000+ gallon crude oil spill in Chalmette, LA known to the public. Here’s how it went down.
Executive Director Bill Caram and I worked in tandem on the project following information we had been given about a spill “near the Mississippi River.” Bill, recognizing this as a big deal that went completely unreported was quick to call the shots; “We need a press release on this,” he said.
Well, you see, now, that was no problem. I had been hired two weeks prior as the Communications & Outreach Director for PST to handle occasions just like this. Breaking news scenarios. It helped I’d already written three press releases for PST prior (it was a busy first two weeks!), which gave me some familiarity going into the process.
We formulated a two-prong approach. First, we decided to leak the press release via our own social media and channels of communication; we followed our first step up by sending the release to several journalists.
The “two-prong” approach worked. The story was picked up and oh did it run. A once unknown spill (which had happened weeks prior) was now public knowledge throughout the country for the damage and devastation it had caused. Videos were posted online of gators and other affected wildlife being rehabilitated following the incident. To this day, news outlets are still covering the spill diligently and uncovering new information about the incident.
More About Me
I joined the Pipeline Safety Trust in December 2021 as the Communications & Outreach Director.
Previously, I served as the Communications & Advancement Coordinator for the Northwest Straits Foundation, an environmental non-profit based in Bellingham, WA that protects and restores the Salish Sea.
I bring a background in freelance journalism, non-profit communications and public relations to the Trust. In my free time, I enjoy writing, reading, playing the guitar and mandolin, hiking, skiing and other outdoor recreational activities.
I’m excited to work for PST and ready to advocate for all communities across our nation in order to protect them from threats to their safety.