Friday, June 12, 2015

Chinese sheetrock, Chinese flooring, and now Chinese Methanol

The Louisiana DEQ issued a permit to a Chinese company for a Methanol plant in St James Parish.

Ask no questions, tell no lies


The permit application claims lower emissions than what would require a review for more stringent pollution controls, but fails to include the emissions calculations in the permit record. Even EPA cannot obtain a copy and LDEQ maintains it is not necessary. Thankfully, two environmental groups filed a Petition to EPA to object to the permit.

Louisiana DEQ issued the permit anyway because the emissions data “ were certified as true by a responsible company official and a professional engineer. “ by the Associated Press  June 01, 2015   St James methanol plant challenged by 2 environmental groups


Environmental Injustice

The Chinese company had filed for expedited permits "to construct and operate a plant on a sprawling 1,100 acres — situated between a high school, two churches and an assisted living facility for senior citizens."  “We never had a town hall meeting pretending to get our opinion prior to them doing it,” said Lawrence “Palo” Ambrose, a 74-year-old black Vietnam War veteran who works at a nearby church. “They didn’t make us part of the discussion.”  China’s Louisiana Purchase: Who’s building a methanol plant on the bayou? Al Jazeera investigates ties between Louisiana and the Chinese government in a proposed $1.85 billion methanol plant January 26, 2015 5:00AM ET   by Massoud Havoun


The parish has since then voted to tax themselves to move the community high school and seem to think that’s enough responsibility for driving people out of their homes.  “School officials are planning to move St. James High School from the heavily industrialized location on the west bank of the parish to a 54-acre tract of land near La. 20 and La. 3127. A parish master plan has indicated more corporations will move to the already industrialized area and drive homeowners to other residential areas. “  By Kate Stevens January 21,2015 St. James School Board seeks to place bond proposal before voters. 


“But Black residents in the southern Louisiana region where the plant is to be built, St. James Parish, didn’t even find out about the project until after local and state officials and Chinese diplomats decided to move forward with it last July—helped substantially by a $9.5 million incentive package from Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration.”   Typically, LDEQ air permit application copies are available at the public library and online if you know  about it and know the project number assigned. A notice is published in a local paper, but the average citizen is unaware local officials have already made agreements. China Is Building a $1.85B Methanol Plant in ‘Cancer Alley’ Louisiana But No One Bothered To Inform Its Predominantly Black Community   -- January 29, 2015 Posted by Nick Chiles




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