In what local advocates are touting as a major victory, a Formosa Plastics affiliate announced earlier this week it will delay major construction of a $9.4 billion petrochemical complex in St. James Parish, Louisiana, indefinitely. “Formosa came to the wrong parish,” Sharon Lavigne, who started RISE St. James two years ago to oppose the facility, told E&E. “We are winning, and eventually they are going to back down,” she added. Zoning changes enacted in the mid-2010s have pushed industrial plants, like Formosa’s so-called “Sunshine Project,” into small, rural, predominantly poor Black communities. Long-standing environmental justice objections to the plant have centered on the pollution that would be released by the plant, as well as the existence on the site of cemeteries believed to hold the remains of enslaved persons — knowledge of which activists contend Formosa withheld from state officials and the public until after it obtained a controversial parish land use permit in late 2018. Formosa’s announcement, which came less than one week after S&P downgraded its credit rating, said it would resume construction once, “the pandemic has subsided and/or an effective vaccine is widely available.” (The Advocate, E&E $)

Update 11/4/20: Army Corps reconsidering permit for $9.4B plastics complex (AP)