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Parish: St. Charles Parish

The predominantly African-American community of Diamond existed between a Shell chemical plant on the west and a sprawling facility including another Shell Chemical plant and two oil refineries on the east. After a series of frightening explosions and accidents at the Shell Chemical facility, the residents began to organize. Multiple lawsuits awarded the residents compensation for damage caused by the explosions, yet they were unable to sell their homes. In 2002 the community, led by resident Margie Richard, finally was able to negotiate a buyout program with Shell, which agreed to relocate all residents who wanted to live elsewhere.

Satellite image showing cleared lots where the community of Diamond once was.
Satellite image showing cleared lots where the community of Diamond once was.
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This atlas is a working document developed by community members in partnership with LEAN as they work toward resolving the challenges they face. This content is under construction and continues to be refined as new data is compiled and community situations evolve. Please excuse any errors or omissions. It is our hope that documentation of these struggles allows a greater opportunity to learn from them and, ultimately, to improve the lives of residents across Louisiana who face these significant challenges.