By: James Bruggers | Mother Jones
Making the case that their local government was built on a culture of white supremacy, Black residents of St. James Parish in the heart of Louisiana’s “cancer alley” have filed a federal lawsuit claiming land-use and zoning policies illegally concentrated more than a dozen polluting industrial plants where they live.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in US District Court in New Orleans by the environmental justice groups Inclusive Louisiana and RISE St. James, and the Mt. Triumph Baptist Church, traces Black history since European settlement in the 1700s through the legacy of slavery and post-Civil War racism, to assert that parish government officials intentionally directed industry toward Black residents and away from white residents.
Outside the Hale Boggs Federal Building in New Orleans on Tuesday, leaders of the two environmental justice organizations and the church said “enough is enough” and called for a permanent moratorium on chemical plants and similar facilities along with a cleaner, safer economic future in their communities.
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