Plans by a Halliburton subsidiary to build a chemical plant in north Vermilion Parish are being challenged by a group of residents in the surrounding area. Known collectively as Citizens Against Multi-Chem, the group will meet at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday at the Indian Bayou Volunteer Fire Department to take the first steps in mounting a campaign against the plant going up on about 20 acres off La. 92 between Maurice and Indian Bayou.
“We understand that Vermilion Parish has no zoning restrictions,” says Marcella Manuel, a business owner who lives about a half from the plant. Manuel says she learned about the project less than two weeks ago and has become an outspoken opponent. “We’re also aware that lots of people including elected officials knew this was coming down the pike and nobody was informed. Some of the government agencies that we’ve spoken to are telling us that stipulations and contingencies could be placed upon the permit at the local level, so those are some possibilities, too.”
Manuel cites a host of concerns about the plant — from water quality and property values to public safety. The plant is a replacement facility for the Multi-Chem plant in New Iberia that was destroyed by an explosion and ensuing fire last July, prompting a mandatory evacuation of residents living within a one-mile radius of the plant.
Manuel says the petition drive will target residents living within a 10-mile radius of the plant: “This is the thing: Lafayette doesn’t understand that when you do a 10-mile radius it goes up to Acadiana Mall. It goes across I-10. It includes Rayne, so we’re planning on getting Acadia and Lafayette parishes involved as well.”
About 20 people now number among the core of Citizens Against Multi-Chem. Some members, Manuel says, are reaching out to area lawmakers.
“We haven’t even touched the vast majority of the population [yet],” she says.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
DEC 12 Until recently, it seemed like NOLA Mayor Mitch Landrieu was going to skate to re-election. But John Maginnis writes in this post that he may face some unexpected opposition, from Michael Bagneris, who currently serves as a civil court judge for the city. The judge isn't saying he's thinking about it, because then he would have to step down, but let's just say Maginnis won't be surprised if Bagneris turns up to qualify for the job.
DEC 12 Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise, chair of the Republican Study Committee, has dumped the RSC's director, this post on Politico tells us. The director, Paul Teller, is accused of leaking conversations with lawmakers, the post says, and "actively working against" strategies that committee members had come up with. Hmmmm....
DEC 12 Jeremy Alford gives us the latest on David Duke in this LaPolitics post. Duke is back in the headlines because he was expelled from Italy recently, accused of trying to start a Neo-Nazi group there. Alford's pulled some interesting bits from the recent media coverage and some older pieces as well about this state embarrassment.
DEC 12 So Louisiana has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the nation, we've known that for a while. But this Picayune story tells us about a new report by Human Rights Watch that says our laws and law enforcement practices are to blame. Those practices impact two routes to infection: unprotected sex and shared needles, the story says.
DEC 12 Jim Brown blogs about a book, "Dumbest Generation," and bemoans our inability to attain a more positive adjective. Jim wants to know: with our constant, unfettered access to information, why aren't we greater? He may be answering the question himself, urging more focus on community service and less on self-enrichment.
DEC 12 Here's an interesting post from DIG Baton Rouge about the proposed City of St. George in Baton Rouge. This piece focuses on the school district the organizers want to create. They're confident they won't need to raise taxes (because, of course, they'll be grabbing huge chunks of tax dollars -- or at least they think so) to build new schools, the story says.
DEC 12 After weeks of "political gimmicks" aimed at trying to force a vote on something most people really don't understand, Sen. David Vitter has decided he will do exactly what Sen. Mary Landrieu already has done for his own Congressional health insurance, the Advocate reports here. Senate leaders offered him a vote, but he didn't want it -- some say because he hadn't milked all the political juice out of this alleged issue yet.
DEC 12 The fact that "amateurs" are running the education system in Louisiana is hurting our children, blogger Mike Deshotels writes in this post. In support of his argument, he goes through the recent vote on Common Core in Baton Rouge, and explains what the data showed. It's not a pretty picture.
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly