Advocates working in St. James Parish, La., are urging the parish council to reject a land use permit for a petrochemical facility based on new evidence.
They argue that Formosa Plastics Group, which will operate the petrochemical complex, falsely claimed it would move a toxic facility farther away from a nearby church and elementary school, when instead Formosa moved the facility closer.
“This is not something where the council can look the other way,” said Pam Spees, the Center for Constitutional Rights lawyer representing the community.
Spees said because Formosa misrepresented its actions and did not take community concerns into account, the permit is null and void under Louisiana law.
Now, Spees and Earthjustice lawyer Corinne Van Dalen are arguing the parish council should send Formosa “back to square one” and reapply for a land use permit for the facility.
“This whole land site plan configuration is not a technicality, this is not a gotcha moment, this is very serious,” Van Dalen said.