- Gulf Coast Growth Ventures, a joint venture between Exxon Mobil and Sabic, is preparing to build a $10 billion ethane steam cracker plant in San Patricio County, TX, according to KRIS TV. The plant will be the world's largest of its kind.
- Although construction won't begin until 2019, the company has already awarded 13 plant-related contracts, 12 of which have gone to local firms.
- Once the cracker plant is completed in 2021, it will employ approximately 600 people. The complex, which will also include two polyethylene and one ethylene glycol plants, is expected to produce 1.8 million metric tons of ethylene, according to the Houston Press.
While many area residents are enthusiastic about the economic opportunities the plant will generate, some were concerned that its 1-mile proximity to a local high school would pose health risks to students and create too much noise.
Residents living near the construction site of the new $300 million Audi Field in Washington, DC, issued the same argument when the owners of soccer team D.C. United were trying to win approval to build the venue. Critics of the project said the noise and dust would negatively affect the already-precarious health of those in the neighborhood. After continued protests from residents, the team donated $50,000 to purchase air purifiers for homes in the vicinity of the stadium site, according to The Architect's Newspaper.
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) laws give advocacy groups in that state a vehicle to oppose large construction projects they find potentially damaging to the health and well-being of residents. The Mission Bay Alliance used CEQA to try to stop construction on the Golden State Warriors' $1 billion Chase Center arena. The group sued the team claiming that construction, and then the operation, of the arena would negatively affect patients in nearby hospitals. The group tied the project up in court long enough to postpone the Warriors' debut in its new home by a year until the 2019-2020 NBA season.