The Louisiana Cancer Alley, where St James is located, is a corridor located in the southern state of Louisiana along the lower Mississippi River, historically a plantation site where enslaved African Americans were forced to labour. Today, it serves as an industrial hub, with nearly 150 oil refineries, plastics plants and chemical facilities.
An emblematic example of environmental racism.
The petrochemical corridor has not only polluted the surrounding water and air, but earned its nickname by subjecting its mostly African American residents to cancer, respiratory diseases and other adverse health effects.
Among the key petrochemical players in the Cancer Alley is the Formosa Plastics Group, a Taiwanese conglomerate that has become the world’s fourth-largest producer of petrochemicals and plastics. In 2018, St. James Parish Council approved the “Sunshine Project“, which would be one of the largest plastics facilities in the world to be developed by FG LA LLC, a subsidiary company of Formosa Plastics Group.
Along with other petrochemical companies in the area, Formosa is facing increasing scrutiny and backlash as a result of the impact of their activities on the human rights of fenceline African American communities.