President Biden: Stop Formosa Plastics

President Biden

photo credit: Louisiana Bucket Brigade

The fight to stop Formosa Plastics from building a mega-polluting petrochemical plant in St. James Parish, Louisiana is moving to the White House. After a lot of hard work — through the leadership of RISE St. James, the power of the people, and robust legal opposition — construction has been delayed.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has suspended the project's federal permit and is now reevaluating it. Any meaningful analysis will make it clear that the permit should be revoked entirely. The plant would pollute a predominantly Black community, disturb unmarked burial sites of formerly enslaved people, degrade wetlands, and deepen the plastic pollution crisis.

As the President of the United States and the Commander in Chief, President Biden can direct the Army Corps to revoke the federal permits. If President Biden is committed to his campaign promises of prioritizing environmental justice and fighting the climate crisis - stopping this project must be a top priority.

Urge President Biden to stay true to his commitment to environmental justice and revoke Formosa Plastics' permits today.

Sponsored by
St. James, LA

To: President Biden
From: [Your Name]

I am writing to urge you to direct the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to revoke Formosa Plastics' federal permits to build a petrochemical complex in St. James, Louisiana (MVN-2018-00159-CM).

The Formosa Plastics complex must be halted. The plastics plant would be built in a predominantly Black district of St. James Parish, one that is already overburdened by petrochemical industry development. The plastics facility would double toxic air emissions in the St. James Parish community where residents face significantly higher cancer risk than the average American. In the last decade alone, cancer risk from industrial pollution in St. James Parish has increased by 600%.

If constructed, the project would desecrate the graves of people who were enslaved on the brutal plantations that once operated on the site. This year, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights condemned the project, citing it as a human rights violation.

Among its many impacts, the Formosa Plastics complex will permanently destroy a huge swath of important surge-reducing wetlands, dump runoff and plastic pellets into the Mississippi River, desecrate unmarked burial sites, put Louisiana’s seafood economy at risk, and harm wildlife. The project will also contribute to more severe flooding and climate disruption: it will emit an astounding 13.6 million tons of greenhouse gas pollution each year. Air, water and plastic pollution from the facility will harm communities, the environment, and wildlife.

President Biden, your administration must prioritize environmental justice, not allow the permitting of one of the largest plastics plants in the world in a predominantly working class, Black community already burdened with criminally high pollution levels and cancer rates. Expanding plastic production in Louisiana will harm local communities with more toxic air and water pollution, exacerbate environmental racism, and contribute to the growing global plastic pollution crisis.

In summary, I urge you to keep your presidential campaign commitments to prioritizing the climate crisis and environmental justice. Please listen to the St. James community and direct the Army Corps to revoke permit #MVN-2018-00159-CM for the proposed Formosa Plastics petrochemical complex.

Thank you for your consideration.