PLAQUEMINE — The Iberville Parish Council on Tuesday joined with several coastal parishes in asking the federal government to speed up its permitting process when it comes to coastal restoration projects.
The council unanimously approved a resolution requesting the Gulf Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, headed by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, to recognize that land loss along the coast is happening faster than restoration projects are being approved and for her and President Obama to streamline the permit process.
“We believe the permitting process is taking too long — they are losing land the size of a football field an hour,” said council Chairman Matt Jewell. “If it takes two to three years for the permit process, the face of the earth has changed and the land we want to save is already gone.”
The council adopted the 2012 operating and capital improvement budget of approximately $39 million.
Other business coming before the council included:
POLLING PLACE CHANGE: Councilman Warren “T-Noche” Taylor announced renovation work at the White Castle Community Center will not be finished in time for Saturday’s primary election, therefore voters should go to the high school instead.
CIBA-GEIGY PLANT: Bernie Hoffman, of WB Services, reported that his company is in the process of filing paperwork to purchase and renovate the former Ciba-Geigy plant in St. Gabriel.
The company will bring in organic oils to make petroleum diesel — not bio-diesel — he said, up to 12 million gallons a year when the first construction phase, at $25 million is completed.
“We expect 60 to 80 construction jobs and 20 to 24 full-time jobs when the plant is operational early next year,” Hoffman said. A second phase will double production to 25 million to 30 million gallons and more employees will be added by the end of 2012.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: The council proclaimed October “Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” after Martha Forbes, executive director of the Battered Women’s Program at Capital Area Family Violence Intervention Center, described the problem.
“Every day women are being killed by men who say ‘I love you,’” Forbes said. “Domestic violence is a community problem and it takes a community’s response to deal with it.”
“Take Back the Night” activities are planned for Oct. 20, at the courthouse, at 5:30 p.m., where women who have been murdered by their intimate partners will be remembered.
MISS EVANGELINE: Emma Annelise Bergeron, 2011 Miss Evangeline, was presented with an artistic declaration of her achievements by parish President J. Mitchell Ourso Jr.