Thank you to those on the Environmental Quality and Natural Resources and Environment state legislative committees and our local officials, especially those who attended the meeting Aug. 4 in New Iberia. We appreciate you listening to our concerns on the expansion of Jefferson Island Storage & Hub salt dome caverns.
The Senate committee held the special hearing in New Iberia after a large turnout at its May 17 meeting in Baton Rouge.
Safety was discussed at the meeting. The caverns the company plans to create beneath Lake Peigneur are a half-mile from the nearest resident. I, of course, think of the 2004 Moss Bluff, Texas, salt dome natural gas storage explosions. A half-mile from the nearest resident is not far enough from any explosion that might occur.
Of course, the biggest concern for everyone, not just those who live in the area, is the use of the Chicot aquifer. The 2009 operating agreement with JISH states that “Jefferson Island shall have the right to drill for and extract water as may be necessary, incidental, or desirable for the Permitted Purposes.”
There is the possibility that the Lake Peigneur project, if approved, could take place at the same time as two other natural gas facilities in the St. Landry and Evangeline parish areas also are expanding. More water withdrawn from the aquifers.
The decision on whether AGL can proceed with the project now lies with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, which is reviewing the company’s application.
Again, thank you, especially to state Sen. Jonathan Perry, R-Kaplan; state Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks; and Vermilion Parish Police Jury President Wayne Touchet.
To listen to Aug. 4 meeting, go to http://www.kane1240.com/show_highlights.htm