We gave it our best shot again in Baton Rouge at the Louisiana Senate Health and Welfare Committee meeting regarding SB532, which says the Louisiana commissioner of conservation shall not authorize or issue any class II hydrocarbon storage well permit or class III brine extraction well permit that uses in excess of 2 million gallons of drinking water per day, without first requiring that the applicant provide to the commissioner an environmental impact statement subject to federal standards. http://www.legis.state.la.us/billdata/streamdocument.asp?did=780986
This is what AGL Resources and other companies are fighting. All we are asking is to make sure that with the heavy well-pumping that there will not be any problems with the Chicot aquifer, our only freshwater source.
SB532 was Sen. Fred Mills’ bill. In support of SB532 were Vermilion, Lafayette, Iberia and St. Martin parishes, DHH health officer Jim Guidry, M.D., Farm Bureau, Joe Mapes and mayors of cities and towns that use the Chicot.
Jim Brugh, Louisiana Water Co., spoke about over-pumping of the Chicot aquifer would cause arsenic being pulled into the aquifer.
Rachel Lecompte spoke about Chicot aquifer problems. We submitted documented proof of problems with saltwater intrusion and wells going dry. http://senate.legis.state.la.us/Health&Welfare/archives/2012/video.htm
For AGL Resources and the Jefferson Island Storage Hub there were plenty of lobbyists. Lou Buatt, lobbyist, former DEQ general counsel, also former DNR assistant secretary for coastal management, and now working for Jones-Walker Law Firm, stated that an environmental impact statement is unnecessary.
Buatt said “It would just take time, this would grow like a cancer, it would stall this economy, there would be no benefits, just take time, this is exactly like the Obama administration used to create the De Facto Moratorium.”
They do not want an environmental impact statement.
Again Buatt stated that the federal government does not require it. Again he failed to say that the Jefferson Island Storage Hub is considered intrastate and not interstate and that is why. Again, AGL Resources failed to address our concerns.
SB532 was deferred by the committee. These senators even after hearing all the problems with the Chicot aquifer still would not require AGL Resources to make sure that its project would not damage our only fresh water source with an environmental impact statement.
Why is AGL Resources so afraid to get an environmental impact statement? Even the senators who voted to defer have problems with their freshwater sources, but they would not even get SB532 on the Senate floor.
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