Activists protest LG’s New Jersey headquarters

By Kim Young-won
  • Published : Jan 23, 2014 - 20:12
  • Updated : Jan 23, 2014 - 20:12
The feud between LG Electronics and environmentalists over the firm’s construction plan for its U.S. headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, is far from over as more activists are joining the opposition side.

According to The New York Times, environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the Natural Resources Defense Council and a local conservation group said they would raise the ante in the ongoing legal battle against the Korean firm to halt the construction of its headquarters atop the cliffs of the New Jersey Palisades.

The U.S. National Park Service, although it has no formal review authority, has also expressed its opposition to the plan that, according to the opposition groups, could ruin the scenic view of the tree lines along the Hudson River.

“This is like if somebody tried to build a high-rise next to Yellowstone,” said Kennedy in a media interview, referring to a popular national park in Wyoming state. “It’s a national issue.”

LG, for its part, has pledged from the beginning to build an energy-efficient, environmentally friendly headquarters without disrupting the Palisades forest. It also maintains that the plan has already passed administrative and legal processes, including over environmental issues.

“The construction site is far from the forest, so it would neither hurt the environment nor the tree lines of the cliffs,” said an LG official in Seoul. “The state government, its officials and communities are actually expressing support for the plan.”

The LG official also said the building would hardly be noticeable as it would be blocked by tree lines, claiming the argument that the structure would ruin the tree lines of the cliffs was groundless.

Ever since the approval of the construction plan for the 143-foot-tall building in 2011, the electronics firm has faced legal challenges by groups of environmentalists.

The activist groups filed a lawsuit last January to scale down the construction plan, and the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in August that LG could go ahead with construction.

The construction of the headquarters is scheduled to be completed by 2017.

By Kim Young-won and news reports