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Plastics producer wants to double toxic emissions allowed

July 9, 2019

VACHERIE, La. (AP) — A plastics manufacturer wants a Louisiana parish to pass new permits that would allow the company to double the amount of toxic chemicals they can release into the air.

The Advocate reports St. James Parish already ranks in the top 100 communities nationally for toxic emissions. In the future, more could come from Formosa, a Taiwan-based manufacturer that wants to build a $9.4 billion complex there.

Formosa is proposing 14 plants that would release up to 1.6 million pounds (0.7 million kilograms) of chemicals annually.

Supporters say it’ll bring thousands of jobs and booming tax revenue, and government officials are promising to balance it with environmental regulations. But community advocates say the emissions would disproportionately affect some of the parish’s poorest and historically black communities.

A public hearing will be held Tuesday.

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