Louisiana Pushes Back on Formosa Plastics
Formosa Plastics is in the doghouse again, but this time, it's in our neighbor state Louisiana. Our intern Amazing Alex came in today following a story of a suspended Formosa Plant project over in Louisiana. Here is the scoop.
Last year, Formosa Plastics lost a heavily battled lawsuit and was ordered to pay out a record 50 million dollars after its Point Comfort plant released billions of plastic pellets into Texas water over the course of many years.
According to Plastic News, "The plaintiffs said that the $50 million would be paid out over five years and will support projects to reverse the impact of water pollution in Calhoun County, where the factory is located."
This month Formosa Plastic had plans to construct a new Louisiana plant, but those have quickly been suspended. The Army Corps announced its decision to suspend the permit that would allow the petrochemical company to build a new location in St. James Parish, Louisiana.
The suspension is halting a massive proposal that would include 10 chemical manufacturing plants and numerous support facilities built over 2,500 acres, all within one mile from an elementary school.
This tremendous plant brings tremendous concern to many people, not unlike those same concerns that were held in Calhoun County.
In a brief made by the plaintiff, it was outlined that the construction of the new Formosa Plastics location would cause harm to a Cancer Alley community already sickened by exposure to industrial pollution, sound familiar?
Texans had a lot to say about Formosa polluting their communities, and Louisiana locals seem to have the same amount of energy.
According to the report, the proposed newly manufactured location in St. James Parish would emit 800 tons of toxic air pollution each year, doubling toxic air emissions in St. James Parish. This is quite a health concern for many locals who will have to live in a polluted state.
On a more historical note, there is resistance to the plant proposal because of its location. The proposed plant's location spans over an area where a cemetery was discovered that is believed the have slaves buried in. Back in June, the burial site was discovered by archeologists, and the area has since been fenced off. Sharon Lavigne, the founder of RISE said, "Knowing they are sacred grounds, no industry should be building there."
There is also a concern for environmental racism if the plant's plans were to be continued. The plant would be polluting a predominately black community. Julie Teel Simmonds, senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, commented on the case stating, “It’s not in the public interest to pollute a Black community and destroy its cultural resources just to crank out more throwaway plastic."
Lavigne with RISE St. James expressed her views saying, “We’ve always said this project would harm our community. Now we need Formosa Plastics to leave St. James.” This is a sentiment shared by many other locals in the area, the same feeling shared by Calhoun County locals during the Point Comfort sites battle.