Kate Fowler

Nitro, West Virginia, is a small boomtown, nestled in the heart of America’s ‘Chemical Valley’. Formed, maintained and entirely reliant upon the chemical and rubber industries, this humble town embodies many of the environmental issues West Virginian’s currently face. Having housed a Monsanto Plant for over 70 years, residents of Nitro have simultaneously relied upon this company for economic stability, while battling the repercussions of the toxic chemicals it produced. Elevated cancer rates, high levels of Dioxin in local water ways and homes and rare auto-immune disorders have disrupted the lives of long term residents, and have rendered the fertile valley and river surrounding this region unusable.

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  • Two teenage residents of Nitro, West Virginia, a small Boomtown which once housed a Monsanto Chemical Plant that produced the deadly poison, Agent Orange and its carcinogenic byproduct, Dioxin.

  • Smoke Stacks at the local coal power plant and a dead deer, killed by a hunter for its loins. This deer was shot within 150 yards of an illegal Dioxin dumpsite, which has been poisoning animals, humans and the local bodies of water for over 40 years.

  • Site map and 16mm film stills from an illegal Dioxin dumpsite, which has been poisoning nearby residents and animals for over 40 years.

  • A house in Nitro, West Virginia.

  • A monitoring well for testing levels of Dioxin, which sits at the entrance to a large illegal dump site. Monsanto continues to deny claims that they used this area for decades to dump the carcinogen Dioxin, yet they've installed a 9 foot fence and monitoring wells around its periphery.

  • Stagnant water which sits beneath an illegal Dioxin dump site. This dumpsite is hidden in the woods, no more than 150 yards from a private residence.