The U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph joins other faith based organizations to support Rise St. James, in opposition to the construction of a $9.4 billion industrial plastics complex by Formosa Industries. The complex will consist of 16 facilities and is expected to double emissions in St. James Parish – a town where 14% of the land is already owned by chemical companies. Our partnership with Rise St. James is motivated by our commitment to fighting environmental racism, and focusing on the ways in which racism, migration, and the climate crisis intersect.
St. James Parish is located along the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, a strip of land also known as "Cancer Alley" due to the high number of industrial and chemical plants and the inordinately high cancer rates – 2nd highest in the United States.
Census data from 2019 states that 48.8% of the population in St. James is Black. "[Putting these complexes in St. James] is a decision based on 'we don’t want it in the white area but we don’t mind it being in the black area,'" said Clyde Cooper, the 5th District Parish Council Member.
To further complicate the matter, Rise St. James has found evidence that the proposed construction site is on the slave cemeteries for the former Acadia and Buena Vista Plantations.
Since 1930, Louisiana has lost 1,900 square miles of costal land due to pollution, driving out wildlife, agriculture, and the families that have lived there for generations.
The industry is booming with half of all the plastic ever made being created in the last 13 years. There is 6,400 million metric tons of plastic waste; 79% are in landfills or the environment, 12% has been incinerated, and only 9% has been recycled. It’s in our food, our water, our soil, and our air— one study has indicated that just by eating, drinking, and breathing, Americans ingest at least 74,000 microplastic particles every year.
We are asking all of you to join us in action, prayer, and advocacy. We commit to standing in solidarity with Rise St. James to fight against the systems contributing to these intersecting injustices.
- Read our full Earth Day Corporate Voice Statement
- Learn more about Sharon Lavigne, founder of Rise St. James
- Register for our Earth Day Presentation with Sharon Lavigne, founder of Rise St. James. Registration is free and open to the public
- Earth Day Resources
U.S. Federation Congregations
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Buffalo
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet- Albany
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet- Los Angeles
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet- St. Louis
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet- St. Paul
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambéry- West Hartford
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia
- Congregation of St. Joseph
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Erie
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Lyon- Winslow, Maine
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Philadelphia
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield
- Sisters of St. Joseph of St. Augustine
- Sisters of St. Joseph of Watertown
- Adorers of the Blood of Christ, U.S. Region
- Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, U.S. Provinces
- Creation Justice Network of American Baptist Churches
- Franciscan Action Network
- Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart
- Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters, USA
- Ignatian Solidarity Network
- Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- Leadership Conference of Women Religious
- Medical Mission Sisters and Women's Circle, Inc.
- Mercy Ecology
- National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
- Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment
- Pax Christi, USA
- Sisters of Bon Secours, USA
- Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary
- Sisters of the Humility of Mary
- Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Justice Team
- Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur
The U.S. Federation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph is a dynamic union of all the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the United States who claim a common origin in the foundation at Le Puy, France in 1650. Today there are approximately 3,351 vowed members as well as 3,076 associates and 46 agrégées in the United States. Worldwide there are over 10,749 Sisters of Saint Joseph and 4,399 associates in over 50 countries.