2 Louisiana environmentalists face ‘terrorizing’ charges

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Two Louisiana environmental activists face felony charges for leaving a box of plastic pellets at a lobbyist’s home in December.

The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reports that Anne Rolfes and Kate McIntosh of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade turned themselves into the Baton Rouge Police Department Thursday.

Picture of Anne Rolfes courtesy of East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office

The plastic pellets, also called nurdles, were found in Texas bays near a plastic manufacturing facility owned by Formosa Plastics. Last year, a judge ruled in a lawsuit that alleged Formosa violated the Clean Water Act by discharging plastic pellets into bays near its plant in Point Comfort, Texas. The company agreed to pay $50 million in a settlement, according to the newspaper.

The box delivered to the lobbyist, whose name has not been made public, had a note attached that said the pellets should not be removed from their packaging, left around children or pets and should be recycled responsibly. “These are just some of the billions of nurdles that Formosa Plastics dumped into the coastal waters of the state of Texas,” according to a copy of the note provided to the newspaper by the Louisiana Bucket Brigade.

Rolfes was arrested on a charge of terrorizing, a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. McIntosh faces a charge of principal to terrorizing. A lawyer representing the women said the charges have “zero legal merit.”

Asked why police waited more than six months to make arrests, a police spokesman said detectives wanted to “respect the investigative process” and said that the coronavirus pandemic had slowed things.

By: Associated Press

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