St. James Parish residents are suing the Louisiana parish over its approval of multiple polluting petrochemical facilities in two Black districts there. “There is no better example of the afterlife of enslavement than what is happening right now in St. James Parish,” Vince Warren, head of the Center for Constitutional Rights, told reporters Tuesday. The Cancer Alley plaintiffs, citing a Reconstruction-era civil rights law, allege a parish land use plan directs heavy industrial development into predominantly Black areas. They also claim those factories were built upon (and destroyed) the burial grounds of the enslaved ancestors of those people now affected by the toxic pollution.
“We stand here today to say we will not be ignored,” Shamyra Lavine of Rise St. James, told reporters outside the federal courthouse in New Orleans on Tuesday. “You will not sacrifice our lives. And we will not take any more industry in the fourth or fifth district of St. James. Enough is enough.” (AP, NOLA.com, The Guardian, E&E $, Inside Climate News, 4WWL-TV, Bloomberg Law, DeSmog)