Cornerstone Chemical had no recourse but to sue Jefferson Parish, LCA director says

By Gabriel Neves | May 13, 2019

NEW ORLEANS – After having the permit for its proposal for an expansion of a cyanide plant in Waggaman denied by the Jefferson Parish Council, Cornerstone Chemical has filed suit.

"The Jefferson Parish Council voted last week to rescind an expansion permit for a controversial cyanide plant one year after passing it," local TV station WDSU reported. 

"The parish attorneys warned this would happen," parish President Mike Yenni told the station in reference to the chemical company's legal action.

Local residents fought against the $100 million expansion of the nitrogen cyanide facility that already produces the chemical compound near the Louis Armstrong International Airport. A chemical industry trade association gives its full support to Cornerstone Chemical's decision to take legal action.

"It was really the only remedy that this company has, because it's the best that we can find when revoking a permit when the company has done nothing to violate their promise," Gregory Bowser, director of the Louisiana Chemical Association, told the Louisiana Record. "If this is allowed to stand, then just think about any business gets a permit, and it lays out what you have to do, what guidelines you have to operate within, and the council could come at any time, for no apparent reason, and simply revoke your permit, after you invested time, effort and money. It is a terrible precedent set for a governing authority."

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