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Mossville, Louisiana (CNN) -- As the Environmental Protection Agency vans roll from one home to the next, each one marked with a red dot on a map, Dorothy Felix tags along like a proud parent.
At each stop, EPA investigators collect potentially tainted water from the kitchen tap and possibly toxic soil samples from the yard.
"This is a very important day. It's a day that should have come a long time ago. We have traveled a long journey and I feel like victory is close," Felix says, smiling.
Nearby, an EPA contractor uses a hand trowel to scoop hard-packed dirt into glass jars for testing at a government lab in Houston, Texas.
Felix and other environmental activists in this southwest Louisiana community tried for decades to convince the state and federal governments they live in a toxic town.