A Proposed Coal Export Terminal in Plaquemines Parish Threatens both the Coastline and Surrounding Communities
September 24, 2012
On September 21, 2012, the Sierra Club, Christian Ministers Missionary Baptist Association of Plaquemines, and Louisiana Environmental Action Network challenged the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s approval of a Clean Air Act permit for a proposed coal export terminal in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. The Armstrong Coal Company, based in St. Louis, Missouri, intends to develop a new terminal that would ship up to 10 million tons of coal per year through the Mississippi Delta. The proposed terminal could cause serious environmental and public health impacts, exposing the residents of the historic community of Ironton and other nearby towns to coal dust and toxic runoff. “When IMT (an existing coal terminal) came in, they destroyed two cemeteries, the oldest church around here, and moved the entire community of Oak Park. As long as God leaves breath in my body, I’m not going to let another coal company destroy another Black community in Plaquemines,” said Ironton native and Louisiana Environmental Action Network member Rose Jackson.
In addition to the threats it poses to public health, the proposed RAM Terminal would impair the local wetland ecosystem, as it would be located directly adjacent to the LCA Medium Diversion, a project that the State of Louisiana has determined to be vital to the state-wide wetland restoration plan. Both the U.S National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have offered public comment that the proposed RAM Terminal would interfere with the wetlands restoration project. Furthermore, coal export terminals are especially risky for Southern Louisiana, where sea-level rise and hurricanes routinely lead to toxic pollution and spills from low-lying industrial facilities.
Its hindrance, to both public health and the Louisiana coastline, makes it abundantly clear that the RAM Terminal must not be built.
Details and Documents:
September 24, 2012, Sierra Club et al. Press Release