Federal Involvement Sought to Protect Cancer Alley Communities from Industrial Expansion

industrial plants

WHAT: Press conference addressing the urgent need for federal intervention to protect communities along the river, particularly Black communities targeted for industrialization

WHERE: Southern University, New Orleans, LA

WHEN: Monday, June 24, 2024, 4:30 PM

HOW TO WATCH: In person or via the Louisiana Bucket Brigade Facebook page

WHY: The residents of St. James Parish are facing an existential threat due to the state and local governments’ plans to industrialize their districts, which would disproportionately impact the Black community. This press conference will highlight the need for immediate federal involvement to prevent the destruction of these communities and protect their civil rights.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is visiting Southern University to discuss its Environmental Justice (EJ) Strategic Plan, which aligns with Executive Order 14096, “Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All.” The plan prioritizes cases that reduce public health and environmental harms, emphasizes meaningful engagement with impacted communities, and stresses the importance of collaboration with federal, state, local, Tribal, and territorial partners.

Residents of St. James Parish, including leaders from Inclusive Louisiana and the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, will speak about the ongoing battle to protect their families and homes. Despite a federal civil rights lawsuit filed in March 2023 against the St. James Parish Council and Planning Commission for their discriminatory practices of centralizing pollution in predominantly Black districts, the local government continues to approve industrial expansions that exacerbate pollution and health risks.


  • Gail LeBoeuf, Inclusive Louisiana

  • Barbara Washington, Inclusive Louisiana

  • Pastor Gregory Manning, Greater New Orleans Interfaith Climate Coalition

  • Pastor Harry Joseph, Rural Roots Louisiana

Impacted communities will  urge the DOJ to take decisive action to uphold environmental justice and protect the civil rights of St. James Parish and all Cancer Alley residents. The community calls on the federal government to prioritize this geography, leverage its legal tools, and engage with local leaders to prevent further industrial encroachment and ensure a safe, healthy environment for all residents.

ABOUT INCLUSIVE LOUISIANA: Inclusive Louisiana is dedicated to advocating for the rights and well-being of residents in Louisiana, focusing on environmental justice and community health.

ABOUT RURAL ROOTS: Rural Roots introduces our kids to environmental justice, provide literacy and promote community stewardship and earth care; making our communities aware and striving to educate our kids on the social justice and unfair exposure and how it’s inequitably distributed by teaching art and gardening by creating efforts to stop industrial expansion in our community.

ABOUT GNOICC: The Greater New Orleans Interfaith Climate Coalition works to establish climate justice and promote care of the Earth.

ABOUT LOUISIANA BUCKET BRIGADE: The Louisiana Bucket Brigade uses grassroots action to support communities impacted by the petrochemical industry and hasten the transition from fossil fuels.

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