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NURDLEFEST 2019 Showcases Formosa Plastics’ Threat to Louisiana After Texas Plastic Pollution Case

St. James Parish Project Would Pollute Community, Discharge Plastic Nurdles into Mississippi River, Gulf of Mexico

(Baton Rouge, LA)

RISE St. James and the Louisiana Bucket Brigade will hold NURDLEFEST 2019 outside the offices of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, 602 North Fifth Street in Baton Rouge, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CT) on Tuesday, Dec.10.

NURDLEFEST 2019 will feature evidence of Formosa Plastic’s dismal pollution record in communities around the world – including the Texas Gulf Coast, where Formosa dumped billions of plastic pellets called “nurdles” and other pollutants into state waters. The company just settled a lawsuit over that devastation for $50 million in cleanup costs, the largest such settlement in the history of the federal Clean Waters Act.

This festival will bring together environmental advocates, pollution experts, community members, students and performers to LDEQ’s doorstep as the agency considers an air permit application for Formosa Plastics’ proposed $9.4 billion ethane cracker complex, in the heart of St. James Parish. Formosa would operate this facility 24-7, emitting over 26 million tons every year of cancer-causing compounds, particulates, and other pollutants that present dire health risks for parish residents.

“Formosa polluted Texas waterways with plastic for years and they’ll do the same thing to Louisiana,” said Sharon Lavigne, president of Rise St. James. “We want Louisiana officials to see and consider that evidence. The health of our community and quality of our environment, on which the Gulf seafood and other vital industries rely, depends on stopping Formosa.”

Our 10:30 a.m. news conference will feature leaders from RISE, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade and the Center for Biological Diversity to address issues surrounding Formosa’s permit application and efforts to persuade LDEQ to deny it, including submitting more than 15,000 public comments to the agency in opposition to the plant. All news media, local and global, are welcome to attend.

The event will feature experts on the ocean plastic pollution crisis and information on the petrochemical industry’s plans to steeply increase U.S. plastic production using the oversupply of fracked gas. It will also include the premiere of a new campaign video produced by the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, aimed at building public opinion against Formosa’s plant plans. Free lunch for attendees will be provided by Momma’s Silver Moon Cafe.

NURDLEFEST 2019 organizers have invited LDEQ staff to attend this event to hear from the people they serve and to listen to messages of public health, safety, conservation and responsible policies. And we are looking forward to talking with news media at this important event, to amplify our message for the Louisianans who would be directly impacted by this colossal, toxic plastics facility — if we allow its construction.

Below is the schedule for NURDLEFEST 2019. We are also updating our NURDLEFEST 2019 Event Page on Facebook.