Watson residents grill Southern Aggregates over mining plans _lowres


A public hearing on the water quality certification for Southern Aggregates’ proposed gravel pit in Watson is scheduled March 19.

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will conduct the joint hearing at 6 p.m. in the Live Oak High School cafeteria, 36079 La. 16, Denham Springs.

Southern Aggregates plans to locate a 238-acre sand and gravel mining operation off La. 16, next to Oak Hills subdivision. The proposed pit will include excavation of three borrow areas, with desanding plants, a material processing plant, an office and truck scales, according to the company’s permit application.

The public hearing will not be a question-and-answer session but will provide residents and other interested parties an opportunity to present comments on the proposed water quality and wetlands permits, according to the DEQ public notice issued Wednesday.

Southern Aggregates will be allowed up to 30 minutes for an introductory presentation, then comments will be taken in the following order, as per state law: people who live within 2 miles of the proposed pit, people who work within 2 miles of the proposed pit, then other residents of Livingston Parish.

Written comments also will be accepted after the hearing, until March 30 for the Corps and until April 21 for DEQ.

Copies of Southern Aggregates’ permit applications are available online at www.deq.louisiana.gov, as well as at the Watson branch of the Livingston Parish Library, 36581 Outback Road, Denham Springs.