Louisiana’s Chemical Corridor Is Expanding. So Are Efforts To Stop It

Cheap natural gas and access to international ports are fueling a new industrial boom in Louisiana, along the stretch of land locals have long dubbed “cancer alley.” The expansion is prompting new efforts to stop the factories, by residents concerned about the impact on their health. Sharon Lavigne grew up in rural Welcome, Louisiana, in St. James Parish, about 60 miles northwest of New Orleans, but doesn’t find it a welcoming place to live anymore. The region is already home to more than 140 chemical factories and oil refineries. Now, companies from Taiwan and China are building new plastic, chemical and fertilizer plants. That includes one less than a mile from Lavigne’s house, which she has made it her mission to stop. “I feel like if the pollution doesn’t stop, we will slowly die,” she says. The project near her is a $9.4 billion megacomplex by Formosa Petrochemical, one […]

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