Community Environmental Justice Victory in Norco, Louisiana(A)
After years of struggling for relocation of nearby residents and pollution reduction at Shell facilities in Norco, Louisiana (see our March 2002 piece, “The Royal Treatment? Environmental Justice in Cancer Alley and Royal Dutch Shell,”) the Concerned Citizens of Norco have finally achieved an environmental justice victory. Earthjustice, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, and other organizations have been involved in facilitated discussions between Concerned Citizens of Norco and Shell that have resulted in Shell: (1) offering to buy the properties of homeowners and renters in the African American community of Diamond, (2) offering $25,000 in home improvements and community development programs to residents choosing to stay in Diamond, and (3) investing in environmental improvements at Shell facilities to reduce pollution and improve safety.
Concerned Citizens of Norco held a joint press conference with Shell and allied groups on Tuesday, June 11 to introduce Shell’s “Diamond Options Program.”
This was a milestone event for the Diamond community and their relations with Shell. Both Concerned Citizens of Norco and Shell have committed to continuing talks to ensure the successful implementation of the program.
For the official press release and more information on the community’s struggles go to the web site of the Refinery Reform Campaign: http://www.refineryreform.org/