USACE allows certain activities to resume in Louisiana FG petchem complex

Author: Janet Miranda

2020/11/20

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US Army Corps of Engineers allowed certain activities related to FG LA LLC’s petrochemical complex construction to resume despite the temporary suspension of its permit, the company said on Friday.

The USACE said that FG could resume its work on the local water line relocation and highway improvements.

“Allowing FG to complete these limited activities in the near-term while the permit re-evaluation takes place will reduce risks to the public, land and environment, and allow FG to stabilize the site,” said Janile Parks, director of community and government relations for FG in a statement.

Last week, the USACE announced that it has suspended FG LA’s permit, after it was challenged by environmental groups in a lawsuit.

All work associated with clearing, grading, and excavating would come to a halt until the USACE re-evaluated the permit and decided if to reinstate, modify, or revoke the permit, according to court documents.

FG LA has done only limited construction on the site and has no plans to perform any work regulated by the USACE until February 2021.

FG is part of Formosa Plastics Group, which is owned by a conglomerate in Taiwan that also owns Formosa Petrochemical.

The USACE decided to suspend construction for the complex after realising it made a mistake in reviewing alternative sites for the project.

The complex, known as the Sunshine Project, was planned to be built in two phases with an estimated total investment of around $9.4bn.

The case remains at a standstill while the permit is re-evaluated.

The Center of Biological Diversity, one of the groups suing the USACE over the permit, alleged that the complex will destroy nearby wetlands and pollute the area, and accused the USACE of overlooking the environmental harm it could cause to the area, according to court documents.

The group did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the USACE decision to allow FG to resume local water relocation and highway improvement activities.

Other groups suing the USACE include Healthy Gulf, the Louisiana Bucket Brigade and Rise St James.

The centre and the other groups filed the lawsuit in US District Court, District of Columbia. The case number is 20-cv-00103.