Reserve, La. - As a younger man, Robert Taylor knew there was something wrong about the Mississippi River communities just north of Reserve. He had heard that people living in the shadow of the oil refineries had higher rates of cancer and illnesses no doctors could explain. Plus, Taylor said, he could just smell it when he drove in those towns.
“I had to roll up the window, turn off the air conditioning and hold my breath as I went through town,” Taylor said. “At the time, to me, it was just an inconvenience. Then I noticed the odors. But it wasn’t towns away. It was at my house.”