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East Coast Attorneys General Join Fight Against Formosa Plastics Plant In St. James

A map shows the location of Formosa's proposed a mega-plant plastics manufacturing complex in St. James, "The Sunshine Project."

Five East Coast attorneys general are getting involved in a fight over a proposed Louisiana plastics plant.

The democratic attorneys general of New York, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts and New Jersey have sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers demanding it further assess the environmental and health impacts of the proposed plant in St. James. They don’t have the authority to stop the plant from being built or permitted.

Environmental advocates have been fighting the proposed $9.4 billion Formosa Plastics mega-plant for years.

The letter states that it would not only be bad for the health of the people and environment in St. James, but could have wide-ranging impacts in the AG’s states by contributing to carbon emissions that would exacerbate climate change and the loss of wetlands that support migratory birds.

Last year, environmental advocates filed a lawsuit against the Corps, saying it failed to consider how the plant would impact historic sites, like cemeteries, and pollute the environment. Then the Corps suspended the plant’s permit.

Formosa doesn’t have permission to continue building the plant.

Support for the Coastal Desk comes from the Walton Family Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, and local listeners.

Tegan has reported on the coast for WWNO since 2015. In this role she has covered a wide range of issues and subjects related to coastal land loss, coastal restoration, and the culture and economy of Louisiana’s coastal zone, with a focus on solutions and the human dimensions of climate change. Her reporting has been aired nationally on Planet Money, Reveal, All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Marketplace, BBC, CBC and other outlets. She’s a recipient of the Pulitzer Connected Coastlines grant, CUNY Resilience Fellowship, Metcalf Fellowship, and countless national and regional awards.

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