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A crowd waits Jan. 21, 2020, to hear speakers discuss the Formosa Plastics complex proposed in St. James Parish while some people wait outside the chambers, in background, due to space limitations.

I write in reference to an April 14 letter published in The Advocate. Formosa (FG) takes seriously the concerns surrounding coronavirus across our communities, and our hearts go out to those who have been impacted.

This is a time for the community to stand unified in spirit. Throughout the development of our planned industrial complex in St. James Parish, FG has invested in the community. Before COVID-19, what we accomplished — at the local, state and federal levels — to make The Sunshine Project a success demonstrates how we can and must work together for good jobs, better schools and a strong economy. This same spirit of cooperation will help support community recovery and provide much-needed opportunities in the days to come.

But there are some who do not see FG or The Sunshine Project in the same positive light. They are doing everything they can to stop progress for Louisiana, including spreading fear and confusion about our project, especially during these uncertain and anxious times.

The fact is FG has complied with the law from day one. When there have been missteps in communication, we responded quickly, learned valuable lessons and improved processes. Despite what some groups want you to believe, with the oversight of the state, FG has respectfully followed all required procedures in researching, identifying, and protecting possible burial sites on our property. We made that information public during the permitting process and the public had an opportunity to comment. We have also modeled emissions and implemented best in class designs and technology to address environmental considerations and ensure our project meets standards that protect public health, safety and the environment.

Gov. John Bel Edwards has deemed construction and energy projects like ours essential to our state’s economic health and recovery, and we take that responsibility seriously. Out of an abundance of caution and concern for our workforce and community, FG has temporarily paused activities on The Sunshine Project property, including work Entergy had initiated.

FG understands that corporate citizenship includes responding to and interacting with our community to listen, understand and address real needs. That’s why we have initiated programs such as FG’s Stop Hunger Campaign to address food insecurity, the “Think Local” policy to hire locally, the FG Workforce Academy to train qualified workers, the STEAM education grant to bolster student enrichment, the District 5 Park Beautification Project and the Community Health Fair.

I want Louisiana, the St. James community and our employees to know we are listening, and we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our employees, the community and the environment. We will also continue to invite truth, convey project facts and embrace the spirit of cooperation we will all need to help build a brighter future.

JANILE PARKS

director, Community and Government Relations, FG LA LLC

St. James

Letters: Formosa Plastics abusing St. James residents, environment