Vermilion Parish Chemical Plant Meeting - KLFY News 10

Vermilion Parish Chemical Plant Meeting

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Tuesday night residents in rural northern Vermilion Parish turned out in force to show concerns of what they say will be a dangerous chemical plant in their back yards.

It was standing room only in the tiny Indian Bayou Volunteer Fire Department building.

Dozens of residents are angry that a plant which is already in the process of being put up got the green light without them knowing anything about it. Until now.

"They don't give a flip about us," said one man.

Dozens of people who live near Indian Bayou in northern Vermilion parish wanted their voices heard. They say a new chemical blending plant going up right off of LA Highway 92 will bring nothing but danger to them and their families.

"You might as well wipe Indian Bayou off the map if you guys come in here," says one woman.

Marcella Manuel started the charge. She lives near the 64 acres where the complex will be, and only found out what it was after ground was already broke for the project.

"This may not be a manufacture plant with smoke chimneys sticking out the top, but it doesn't mean that it's not dangerous. They are handling hazardous chemicals," says Manuel.

So she started the group Citizens Against Multichem. The Halliburton subsidiary is expected to begin production at the beginning of 2013.

Cade Bourque, a representative with Multichem was there to take questions from those in attendance and reassure them what they were doing is safe.

"It'll definitely open up communications so that we can provide all the people everything they need to feel comfortable," says Bourque.

Just last year a Multichem plant in New Iberia exploded sending chemicals into the air. Manuel says it's the track record of the company that has her most concerned.

"You can talk to me all day long about the safety precautions that they take but the proof is there. But it doesn't just start there; they have safety violations in California, Norwood. They leave a trail," says Manuel.

The goal of Manuel and most of those in attendance are to get the project shut down. Wednesday, she and others who support the cause will address the Vermilion parish police jury at large to see if they can gain governmental support.

Doug MacDiarmid

 

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