St. Martin getting $6.5 million in OCS revenues through CIAP

ST. MARTINVILLE – Over $6 million in oil and gas revenues from far offshore will be pumped into St. Martin Parish over the next year or so.

Parish President Guy Cormier will ask the Parish Council at the May meeting for budget amendments to recognize the receipt of funds, which will be used for three water-relative projects:

•$4 million – Beau Bayou Water Quality and Sediment Reduction;

•$2.2 million – Stephensville Wastewater Assimilation and Facility Restoration;

•$390,000 – Bayou Amy Boat Launch and Educational Pavilion.

The money comes through the Coastal Impact Assistance Program, or CIAP, a revenue-sharing program designed to mitigate the wear and tear on coastal jurisdictions by support activities for oil and gas production on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Another round of funding for other projects could become available to the parish in 2011, Cormier said.

The Beau Bayou project involves dredging of a natural bayou and cutting gaps into a natural levee to improve the flushing of a swamp with fresh water. Beau Bayou is several miles northeast of the Bayou Benoit landing.

The project in Stephensville in lower St. Martin Parish is an upgrade of the existing wastewater treatment plant including piping to put effluent into adjacent wetlands. Wastewater assimilation is a process in which a swamp is used as a natural filter for wastewater.

The Bayou Amy boat ramp and pavilion, to be sited just south of the bridge in Henderson, has been coupled with a city project through the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources for a $250,000 nature trail.

CIAP, authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, gives the state $135 million in OCS mineral revenues every year for four years, or a total of some $540 million of which 35 percent ($189 million) is dedicated to coastal parishes.

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