To Governor Edwards, state legislators, candidates for elected office, and members of the St. James, St. John the Baptist, Ascension, and Livingston Parish councils,
The shocking concentration of toxic, industrial facilities in Louisiana – next to school playgrounds, bordering the backyards of homes, alongside critical water sources, and so many other places of security – is a death sentence for residents and the land we call home.
This is extreme in some parts of the state, like along the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. It’s known as Cancer Alley because people have a higher risk of developing cancer from air pollution than almost anywhere else in the United States. Recent research has confirmed that toxic air pollution contributes to Louisiana’s high cancer rate – one of the highest in the nation.
Despite Louisiana already having way more than its share of this toxic industry, two massive new industrial projects are under consideration in this same part of the state: DG Fuels and Air Products.
If built, the DG Fuels plant could emit known carcinogens into already polluted air and water. Meanwhile, Air Products' proposed plant would emit more toxic pollution and the associated pipelines would transport highly combustible CO2 gas across multiple parishes. Air Products wants to store all this toxic gas beneath Lake Maurepas, an idea that is opposed by the local community. If these pipes and storage operations leak or explode, as has happened in other US towns like Satartia, Mississippi, they risk turning entire communities into ghost towns.
Right now, Louisiana’s leaders can stop Air Products and DG Fuels. We demand that:
Governor John Bel Edwards use his authority to direct the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources to deny the permits of Air Products and DG Fuels.
State Legislators pass legislation that opposes new toxic industrial facilities coming to Louisiana, holds existing industries accountable to not poison our state, and brings clean industry and jobs to Louisiana.
Candidates for governor and state legislature commit to oppose new toxic industrial facilities, hold existing industries accountable to not poison our state, and bring clean industry and jobs to Louisiana.
The Parish Councils oppose the DG Fuels and Air Products projects, hold existing industry accountable, and bring clean industry and jobs to their parishes.
We, the undersigned, refuse to let our fellow human beings and our natural environment be poisoned by industrial giants. It’s time to move beyond this toxic legacy: State and parish leaders must focus on bringing in new jobs with all of the clean industry that is flooding into other states, and create a healthier, sustainable path forward.
Learn more about the crisis unfolding in Cancer Alley
Meet Rise St. James, our incredible campaign partner. Rise is a faith-based grassroots organization that is leading the fight against the toxic industrial buildout in St. James Parish.
Listen to the Discarded podcast, a four-part series, hosted by Emmy award-winning journalist Gloria Riviera, in which we discover how our plastic world came to be.
Watch Breathe this Air, a moving short film, produced by Peak Plastic Foundation, focusing on the environmental justice aspects of the plastics crisis – you can tune in below.