Smoke billows from one of many chemical plants in the area in October 2013. "Cancer Alley" is one of the most polluted areas of the U.S. Photo: Giles Clarke/Getty Images.

Petrochemical facilities in Louisiana are releasing cancerous chemicals into predominantly black and poor areas, ProPublica reports in partnership with The Times-Picayune and The Advocate.

The impact: Since the 1990s, some Louisianans have been forced to deal with the consequences of living near huge petrochemical facilities, including air that smelled of rotten eggs, blue fluid in their ditches, miscarriages and cancer diagnoses.

The big picture: Air quality in the U.S. has been improving for decades. But in Louisiana, where seven large chemical plants along the Mississippi River corridor have been approved since 2015, it's getting worse.

  • The stretch of the river between New Orleans and Baton Rouge has been dubbed “cancer alley” due to the high concentration of petrochemical facilities, per ProPublica.

What to watch: Five more major projects are awaiting approval.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 12,859,834 — Total deaths: 567,123 — Total recoveries — 7,062,085Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,297,501— Total deaths: 135,155 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — NYC reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since pandemic hit.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.