A recent article in this newspaper, ("Corps will take closer look at Formosa plant's impact on environment, minority residents in St. James,” Aug. 18) underscores the uncertainty of doing business these days.
FG LA LLC’s The Sunshine Project in St. James Parish followed all regulatory guidelines and relied on sound science in planning, design and permitting. The project received unanimous approval from the parish and federal regulators in 2019 and permits from the state regulators in 2020. However, major construction on the project has been on hold since November pending reevaluation of the project’s permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
FG worked with the Corps to honor requests for additional information yet, without warning, on Aug. 18, an acting assistant secretary of the Army issued a one-page memo via Twitter saying the Corps would now require additional environmental information to further consider a permit it had already approved. Inexplicably, the Corps chose not to notify, inform, or explain its decision to FG directly, nor has provided any guidance on a path forward.
In Louisiana, economic development leaders understand the need for certainty. The path to locating, permitting, and building industrial businesses should be clear. Once permit applications are approved, companies construct and operate businesses, invest locally, and adhere to any guidelines. FG has placed the health and safety of the community at the forefront while demonstrating our commitment to investing $9.4 billion in St. James Parish and creating over 1,200 permanent local jobs. These are jobs and tax revenue the community desperately wants and needs following the 2020 announcement of the closure of a refinery in Convent.
FG’s unwavering commitment to Louisiana remains constant. The company has chosen to invest in St. James Parish because we believe in its workforce and share its hardworking spirit. Doing business here should be based on facts and sound science rather than uncertainty.
director of community and government relations, FG LA LLC