Shell Chemical and the citizens of the Diamond neighborhood released this joint statement on June 20, 2002. Under the plan, all of the residents of the five streets of the Diamond community will be eligible for buyouts, at a minimum price of $80,000. Residents also can choose to remain in their homes and receive a no-interest home improvement loan of up to $25,000 that would be forgiven over a five-year period.
The Concerned Citizens of Norco (CCN) and Shell Chemical LP (Shell) have engaged in a series of frank and open discussions in an attempt to understand and resolve their differences regarding the Voluntary Property Purchase Program, a program designed to create greenbelt space along the fence lines of the Shell and Motiva Enterprises (Motiva) facilities in Norco, Louisiana that was offered to residents living on two of the four streets that make up the tight-knit and historic Diamond neighborhood. CCN and Shell also discussed the Shell and Motiva Good Neighbor Initiative, which contains several programs to enhance the quality of life for all of Norco, including the Diamond neighborhood.
These discussions resulted in Shell having a greater appreciation for the unique social character and interdependencies of the Diamond neighborhood in Norco and how it was uniquely affected by the Voluntary Property Purchase Program. These discussions also resulted in the CCN having a better understanding of the Good Neighbor Initiative and its benefits for Norco and its residents, including residents of the Diamond neighborhood.
As a result of Shell's discussions with the CCN and other members of the Diamond neighborhood, Shell has developed its Diamond Options Program that consist of a Property Purchase Component and a Home Improvement Loan Component. Under the Home Improvement Loan Component, Diamond residents have the choice to stay in the Diamond neighborhood and take advantage of the Good Neighbor Initiative and other programs that Shell and Motiva offer. This component is designed to improve the lives of Diamond residents, contribute to a vibrant and growing Norco, and preserve the historic Diamond neighborhood. Under the Property Purchase Component, Diamond residents have the choice to sell their properties to Shell at a fair price and leave Norco. This component provides residents the opportunity to relocate to areas they believe are best for their families.
CCN declares that these options demonstrate Shell's commitment to the Diamond neighborhood.
Shell and CCN believe that both have acted in good faith in listening to each other
and addressing their respective concerns.
CCN appreciates the generous support of the following organizations, Commonweal, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, Earthjustice, Environmental Health Fund, LA Bucket Brigade, Refinery Reform Campaign, and the Subra Company, which have contributed to achieving successful resolution.
Shell and CCN jointly declare that their discussions and the resulting Diamond Options Program have successfully resolved their differences. In addition, both Shell and CCN are committed to continuing dialogue to ensure successful implementation of the Diamond Options Program.
Signed on June 11, 2002.
Concerned Citizens of Norco
Shell Chemical LP
Learn more about the Norco settlement by visiting
The Louisiana Bucket Brigade website or the Shell Chemical "Fenceline" Web site.
UPDATE, 12/23/04: The website Shell Oil created to represent their perspective on the "Fenceline" story, www.fenceline.com, is no longer live on the Internet. As a matter of balance, we now suggest checking out the Norco section of the main Shell Oil website.