Rise St. James

RISE St. James founder Sharon Lavigne wins Goldman Environmental Prize

BY: - June 15, 2021

Sharon Lavigne, a retired special needs teacher in St. James Parish and the founder of the faith based environmental justice group RISE St. James has been named the 2021 North American winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize for fighting to keep multibillion dollar chemical plants out of her already polluted community in the heart of […]

La. Democrats ignoring Cancer Alley

Cancer Alley’s been ignored by state’s top Democrats, activist says in Poor People Campaign event

BY: - March 2, 2021

One of the nation’s most prominent defenders of the poor and their right to live in environments free of pollution included Louisiana’s Cancer Alley in his weekly call to activism Monday during which a St. James Parish resident accused the state’s leading Democrats, specifically Gov. John Bel Edwards and former Rep. Cedric Richmond, of ignoring […]

COMMENTARY

By objecting to the term ‘Cancer Alley,’ Sen. Bill Cassidy is defending polluters, not Louisiana

BY: - February 5, 2021

“He call himself a doctor?” a fuming Sharon Lavigne said of U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy Thursday morning. “What kind of doctor is he?! A doctor to just let people die?” For the record, the senior senator from Louisiana is a gastroenterologist, a physician who diagnoses and treats disorders of the digestive system, but Lavigne, a […]

Biden’s presidency could open doors for environmental justice in Louisiana

BY: - November 11, 2020

WASHINGTON —  The incoming Biden administration is poised to bring a new focus to environmental justice—a major policy change that could have an impact in Louisiana. Community activists and some Democratic lawmakers have long sought federal protections for environmental justice. They want to give low-income communities more latitude to challenge the cumulative effects from air, […]

Formosa agrees to defer major St. James Parish construction until February

BY: - July 27, 2020

Formosa Plastics will not proceed with any major construction on a $9.4 billion plastics manufacturing complex it plans for the west bank of St. James Parish before February, according to a stipulation agreement it signed with the plant’s opponents Thursday.  Those opponents had complained to a federal court in Washington, D.C., that Formosa should not […]

How many burial sites are on the land where Formosa Plastics plans to build?

BY: - July 20, 2020

Rise St. James and Formosa Plastics don’t agree about what’s going to happen in the future.  The environmental justice group says air, water and soil quality are already awful in St. James Parish, and, if Formosa Plastics is allowed to build a $9.4B manufacturing complex on the west bank, the environment will become even more […]

COMMENTARY

Pollution left us in St. James Parish vulnerable to COVID-19; now industry wants to build bigger

BY: - July 16, 2020

By Stephanie Cooper I grew up in St. James Parish, on a country road off Highway 18 on the west bank of the Mississippi River, before a dozen polluting petrochemical plants were built here, before my community became known as Cancer Alley and before our long exposure to industrial air pollution helped lead to some […]

Rise St. James files injunction seeking to halt construction of $9.4B Formosa Plastics plant

BY: - July 15, 2020

Rise St. James, a faith-based environmental justice group in St. James Parish took its fight against Formosa Plastics to Washington Tuesday by asking a federal judge in the District of Columbia to issue an injunction against the Taiwanese corporation’s plan to construct a $9.4 B, 1,500-acre plastics manufacturing complex.  The group alleges that the U.S. […]