Louisiana Chemical Association monitors LaPlace chemical plant lawsuit

By Carrie Bradon | Dec 3, 2018

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The Louisiana Chemical Association is awaiting the outcome of a lawsuit that has been filed by plaintiffs who are alleging the LaPlace chemical plant is causing health complications for those who live in the range of its emissions.

On Nov. 5, the motion brought forth by Denka to dismiss the lawsuit was denied by U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman, the judge overseeing the case. 

According to an article in The Advocate, the plant is owned by Denka Performance Elastomer who is the defendant in the case in which the plaintiffs are claiming that chloroprene is a "likely carcinogen," a label that the Environmental Protection Agency has placed on the chemical.

Opponents of the lawsuit claim the statements made by the plaintiffs are "defective" due to the fact that they allegedly lack specific health issues that have been caused by chloroprene.

Greg Bowser, the executive vice president of the Louisiana Chemical Association, commented on the situation and the fact that the lawsuit is continuing against Denka, despite limitations on the specifics he could offer.

"Because of the last ruling, it is an ongoing court case now," Bowser told Louisiana Record. "The judge ruled that it can move forward, so from that perspective our attorneys have limited us to any discussion of it, so that’s kind of where we are."

Chloroprene is used in the manufacturing of synthetic rubber, and the Denka plant in St. John is the only one in the country that emits this chemical.

While the Louisiana Chemical Association is not directly involved in the case, it will be interested to see what the outcome is, as it is one of the main chemical trade associations in the state.

"We are actually not actively involved in the case at all," Bowser said. "We’re monitoring the case as a trade association and that’s it. We’re not involved in the case at all, we’re just going to follow it and see where it takes us."

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