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Group hoping to save land near Mississippi River

NEW ORLEANS — The Army Corps of Engineers is considering whether potential environmental impacts require it to change, suspend or revoke the permit for a $9.4 billion plastics complex planned in Louisiana by a Taiwan company, U.S. Department of Justice lawyers said Wednesday.

The Corps plans to explain by Tuesday why “the intended construction activities authorized under the permit … may not proceed,” said a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

“I’m overjoyed by this news. This hopefully marks the beginning of our victory over Formosa Plastics,” Sharon Lavigne, who formed Rise St. James to fight the company’s plans, said in a news release with others who sued to stop the project.

Formosa Plastics Group’s Louisiana member, FG LA LLC, plans 10 chemical plants and four other major facilities on 2,500 acres on the Mississippi River in St. James Parish, between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

“FG has worked cooperatively with the Corps throughout the permit process, and will continue to cooperate with them to provide any additional information they may need from FG,” spokeswoman Janile Parks said in a statement.

Environmental and community groups sued to overturn the permit, saying the Corps took only a cursory look at probable environmental effects of the complex called The Sunshine Project after the nearby Sunshine Bridge.

— The Associated Press

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