In 1996 Shintech proposed to build a PVC plant in Convent, LA, but after a barrage of criticism from environmental groups and the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic, Shintech withdrew its application for the plant. U-Michigan Article on Convent The Convent/Shintech issue is one of the most well-known environmental justice cases in Louisiana, because much of the criticism was based-upon the expected disproportionate impact on racial minorities.
Now 14 years later, a new company is seeking to break ground in Convent but the same old controversial issues remain. Nucor Steel Louisiana has proposed a $750 million pig iron manufacturing plant, which will provide the area with 150 jobs ($75K/year average), and 2.5 million tons of iron. Those are great advantages, but there are several concerns and Louisiana Environmental Action Network, Sierra Club and Livingston Parish resident O’Neil Couvillion are objecting to Nucor’s permits because of concerns about the air emissions, including benzene and the greenhouse gases. If you are in the area, there is a public hearing on Tuesday in Convent. Read the Times-Picayune Article here