Washington is putting another environmental justice hurdle in front of a proposed Formosa Plastics resin complex in Louisiana, saying it will investigate whether air pollution from the facility will disproportionately harm nearby communities.
The Environmental Protection Agency said it has accepted a complaint from environmental and community groups opposed to the $9.4 billion Formosa facility, and will examine whether Louisiana government officials violated civil rights laws in their decision making.
The EPA disclosed the review in two letters dated April 6 and released by the environmental group EarthJustice, which had filed complaints in January against the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the Louisiana Department of Health.
The EPA investigation comes after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said last year it would put the Formosa project though an additional review over concerns, "particularly those with environmental justice implications."
In the letters this month, EPA's External Civil Rights Compliance Office said that opening its investigation does not mean it has decided the merits of the case.