Jury opposes saltwater injection well
The first floor lobby of the Acadia Parish Courthouse was standing room only Tuesday night as many residents turned out to express their opposition to the proposed saltwater disposal well proposed across from Trans La Gas Company plant on Highway 35 north.
The members of the Acadia Parish Police Jury heard them well, and, in fact, amended their resolution to oppose an injection well “anywhere in
The vote was unanimously approved by Jurors A.J. “Fatty” Broussard,Jilie Borill, Dale Trahan, Jimmie Pellerin, David Savoy and Robert Guidry. Jurors A.J. “Jay”
Credeur and Alton Stevension did not attend the meeting.
Because the courthouse elevator was out of order, the Jury and citizens were forced to conduct Tuesday’s meeting in the courthouse’s first floor lobby.
A collapsible table was set up for jurors near the front entrance. Because of the crowded space, Jurors Pellerin and Trahan stood throughout the entire meeting.
The opposition vote was take although Thomas Stewart, an attorney for Louisiana Tank of Lake Charles, asked jurors to defer action on the resolution until their August meeting,
Stewart said the Lake Charles company has asked the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to extend the comment time to two weeks instead of one week.
DNR’s Office of Conservation has scheduled a public hearing at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 12, in the Mural Room of the Rayne Civic Center.
In response to Stewart’s request, Judd Gautreaux remarked, “What about our time to speak,” indicating the citizens who joined him in opposition.
Before the vote, Juror Savoy commented, “I wouldn’t wish this on anyone,” adding his concerns about what impact heavy truck traffic to the well site would have on road conditions and safety of children on school buses.
After the vote, Jury President Broussard told the citizens “This is a resolution, not an ordinance, but we can tell the state we don’t want it” noting DNR could authorize the permit for LA Tank-Branch LLC, at 5809 Church Point Highway over citizen opposition.
Stewart was the first to address the Jury, saying he was there to answer questions.
He said the firm wouldn’t be hauling large amounts of water away from the Chicot Aquifer, indicating whatever water would be needed would be purchased from a municipality.
He pointed out the injection well would be 4,500 feet below the water table.
He offered to meet with anyone before the DNR meeting and said the well would not cause any risk to the environment.
He told jurors the 22-acre site was purchased about four years ago and the landowner was told of the company’s plans.
Mentioning the parish landfill does not accept an out-of-parish waste at the parish landfill, President Broussard pointedly told the attorney, “Personally, I don’t want any outside waste.”
Broussard also informed Stewart that the Acadia Parish School Board had adopted a resolution opposing the well during its Monday night meeting.
Juror Borill asked if the well would be accepting any out of state saltwater. Stewart answered it was uneconomic for firms to haul the saltwater great distances.
Florence Gossen, whose family’s land is adjacent to the proposed well site, while noting there are three injection wells already in Acadia Parish, “There is no benefit to Acadia Parish to have this injection well.”
Noting the Gossen family has farmed the land for five generations, Gossen emphasized, “We must protect our aquifer.”
She concluded by telling the jurors, “to just remember location, location, location.”