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Tell Louisiana Leaders: No more toxic plastic plants in Cancer Alley

3,343 signed. Let’s get to 30K.
with The Descendants Project
Stopping the devastating expansion of polluting petrochemical plants hinges on blocking the buildout of an industrial dock and grain facility in Wallace, Louisiana. Tell Governor Edwards and Louisiana leaders to #BlockTheDock.

In Wallace, nearly every family has a story about cancer. The small town, nestled on the West bank of the Mississippi River, is part of an 85-mile stretch where the risk of cancer from air pollution is up to 50 times higher than the rest of the country. 

The deadly pollution that gave Cancer Alley its name comes largely from the area’s high density of industrial plants – including petrochemical facilities that turn oil into plastic. Their fumes are toxic, and the community has been left with little to no support.

In the surrounding Parish, children keep towels under their school desks, so that they can wrap them around their faces when nearby facilities start spewing thick smoke and fire plumes into the sky, a procedure known as flaring.

Every year, U.S. petrochemical companies set fire to billions of cubic feet of natural gas. The process pollutes the atmosphere with hazardous, global-warming gasses, such as methane.

Like many of the United States’ worst industrial offenses, environmental justice is also deeply intertwined with this issue. The area being considered for further industrial expansion lies in the backyard of historically Black neighborhoods, and would require corporations to dig up pristine land that likely contains the ancestral graves of Wallace's enslaved people.

Born and raised in Wallace, Jo and Joy Royle founded the Descendants Project, a nonprofit working to protect the descendants of enslaved peoples' past, present, and future from petrochemical expansion.

Right now, Wallace and the surrounding Parish’s fight to stop additional petrochemical plants from entering their community hinges on another, unexpected industrial project: A proposed $479m deepwater dock and grain terminal. 

The grain dock and terminal are disastrous in their own right: Grain pollution often contains bacteria, rodent feces, and pesticides. But even worse, if the Louisiana government approves the project, it will open the door for a massive expansion of toxic petrochemical plants. 

How Blocking the Dock Stops Plastic: 

Greenfield, Louisiana LLC, the company building the dock and grain terminal, purchased a remarkable 1,700 acres of land in the area, but the actual facility would only require the use of around 250 acres. This means Greenfield won't be building on almost 90% of their property, and they will almost certainly lease the rest to petrochemical corporations.

This domino effect is not hypothetical. Plastics companies have already filed for permits to build on the grain company's land in the past and will do so again - all they need is for the Louisiana government and permitting agencies to give Greenfield the go-ahead to start building. 

But there’s still time to prevent this from happening, and we need your help. Together with the Descendants Project, an organization based in Wallace that advocates for the descendants of enslaved people, we’re calling on local and state leaders to take action. Put simply, if we can block the grain buildout, we can block the petrochemical buildout, and prevent a grave injustice from taking place. 

Please add your name to the petition on behalf of the frontline communities facing the worst impacts of the plastics industry, then share the campaign on social media to help build momentum. 

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