The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Office of Conservation denied the permit of a proposed wastewater injection well in north St. Landry Parish that drew criticism from locals earlier this year.
Eagle Oil LLC, was seeking to install the well, which would be used to dispose of fracking waste from oil and natural gas drilling. In an order issued Friday evening, Louisiana Commissioner of Conservation Richard Ieyoub said the permit was denied because Eagle Oil's responses on comments and questions from the public regarding truck routes was incomplete. He also cited the lack of "evaluation and consideration from all potential routes to the site."
"After careful consideration of all relevant comments warranting evaluation, investigation and area inspection, the Commissioner of Conservation finds that the applicant's permit application IT Question responses do not completely and comprehensively include an evaluation and impact analysis of all truck transportation routes to the proposed injection well disposal facility," Ieyoub said in the order.
Eagle Oil representatives include attorney J.M. Fussell Jr. of Lafayette, Toby Hargrave of Rayne and Nicholas Palmer of Lafayette.
DNR found that the permit indicated that there were at least one other route that trucks transporting waste could take, which included Highways 10 or 71 turning onto Highway 182. These routes were not evaluated and no impact analysis was was provided, so they denied the permit.
Local residents and politicians voiced their concerns at a meeting held by DNR on Jan. 31. Some of the issues included concerns about the possibility of contaminating the Chicot Aquifer, which stretches of 9,000 square miles below the surface of southwest and parts of central Louisiana, including under the proposed site and provides 15 parishes with drinking water; problems with flooding on the property; and traffic and damage it will cause in the area as hundreds of tractor-trailer trucks hauling the chemicals would go up and down the road seven days a week.
Elizabeth Roche, an attorney representing local residents said she thinks that DNR made the right call in denying the permit. Bruce Corvelle, a local resident who lives only a mile from the proposed site and was a part of a group opposing the well, said he is happy the state rejected the project.
"We were just lucky we had a lot of support from the parish. We did all this work and it turned out good for us," Corvelle said. "An injection well there would have been a disaster for our community. The truck traffic scared me, but what really terrified me was that it could have done to the wetlands or the Chicot Aquifer."
However, this isn't the end of the story. Eagle Oil has the option to appeal the decision and take DNR to court or restart the application process once they have completed the necessary studies.
Attempts to reach Eagle Oil representatives were unsuccessful.