CHALMETTE, La. (WGNO) — The concerned group of St. Bernard Parish residents and civic groups filed a lawsuit in the 34th Judicial District courthouse in Chalmette on Tuesday to stop Port NOLA’s construction of the Louisiana International Terminal (LIT).

According to the group known as Save Our St. Bernard (SOS), the development of the container terminal will negatively impact the community in terms of “local economy, environment and quality of life.”

A website created by SOS claims the creation of the terminal will result in the loss of more than 350 acres of wetlands that the parish depends on for flood protection, drainage, wildlife and natural beauty.

The site also states LIT will bring “more than 5,000 18-wheelers daily” into St. Bernard, which will significantly affect traffic conditions, road wear and produce harmful emissions.

Opposition attorney Sidney Torres III said the lawsuit is just the start of the group’s battle against Port NOLA terminal project.

“This is just the beginning,” he told media in front of the courthouse on Tuesday. “It’s only gonna go on, and the people of St. Bernard are committed to fight this battle to the bitter end.”

In a letter to the parish community, Port of New Orleans President and CEO Brandy D. Christian assured residents that Port NOLA is “committed to working with our neighbors to design a project that brings
opportunity for St. Bernard families and businesses while protecting local quality of life.”

According to Port NOLA, the construction of the 1,100-acre terminal in Violet at Mississippi River Mile Marker 83 is scheduled to start in 2025, with the first wharf opening two years later. Full development will take 25 years to complete.