Residents think plant expansion may be hazardous to their health

Shintech proposed site
Shintech proposed site

IBERVILLE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - An expansion in Iberville Parish might be good for the economy but some homeowners say it spells trouble for them. People who live less than a mile away from the planned development believe the operation could harm their health.

Parish leaders say it was a done deal 47-years-ago.

The Shintech plant, which manufactures PVC pipe, is tucked between LA Hwy 1 and River Road in the City of Plaquemine. The operation has become the backbone of the Iberville Parish tax base; all the while maintaining a positive relationship with its neighbors - just more than a dozen homeowners on Troxclair Drive.

Plans to expand an additional 350 acres now has some residents concerned.

"You're putting a large community at risk by expanding in an industrial zone when you already have an industrial zone to the north of the same location," said resident Michael Troxclair.

The plant add-on would put them less than a mile away from the operation.

Troxclair and others are concerned they would be too close to chemicals such as Ethelyne.

Chelsea Bradford says it would mean her grandmother, who has lived in the area for nearly 50 years, would have to move.

Troxclair, however, says his family is not budging.

"I'm not interested in a buyout. I grew up there. My family grew up in this location. My grandparents settled this and farmed on it years ago and I don't plan on leaving I don't want to leave," Troxclair explained.

They don't have to leave, but Parish leaders say the chance of these homeowners getting any kind of money for their properties is slim.

According to Parish documents, the Iberville Police Jury established in 1968 that this 2,558 acre tract of land owned by a company called Union Carbide Corporation, as an industrial zone.

In fact, court documents show 37 property owners agreed to sell this land to the company for $1.9 million. The company changed hands a few times. Shintech owns it today and the deal remains the same.

Residents were welcome to stay but what happens is in the hands of Shintech.

Troxclair says its news to him.

"No one has come door to door, no parish leaders or anything communicated anything with us," he stated.

Parish President Mitch Ourso says the deal will be explained in detail to homeowners at tonight's council meeting.

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.

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