PBS Premiere: July 23, 2002
Fenceline: A Company Town Divided by Slawomir Grünberg with Jane Greenberg, profiles Norco, Louisiana, a true company town. Named after a refinery now owned by Shell Oil, Norco is home to two distinct communities—one black and one white. Though separated by mere blocks, their realities are worlds apart. Nowhere is this clearer than in each community’s response to possible links between the company’s activities and the townspeople’s illnesses. African-American residents who believe pollution is increasing as their health goes downhill demand to be relocated, led by the indefatigable Margie Richard. The white neighborhoods, largely home to employees of Shell Industries, see no problems, and neither does the company. A modern David and Goliath story, Fenceline shows how one small community and one big corporation struggle to come to terms.