A permit application submitted by Jefferson Island Storage & Hub to Louisiana’s Office of Coastal Management — a division of the Department of Natural Resources — for a contentious project to develop natural gas storage caverns beneath Lake Peigneur went public Tuesday.
“We’re just in the mix of reviewing this permit and gathering all agency and public comments that would draw any attention to certain aspects of this project,” says OCM reviewer Sharon McCarthy.
The proposed project has been at the center of an ongoing dispute between the environmental advocacy group Save Lake Peigneur and JISH over a number of mysterious occurrences witnessed in the lake, which is located near the border of Iberia and Vermilion parishes.
Nara Crowley, a lead advocate in the fight to stop JISH from adding two additional storage caverns, says for years residents’ fears have fallen on deaf ears, especially those of the company’s leaders.
“We have unresolved bubbling, the withdrawal of drinking water and several other major concerns,” Crowley says in an e-mail. “All this is being disregarded.”
The situation may be changing, however, thanks to recent vows of support from U.S. Congressman Charles Boustany, Sen. David Vitter, and the Vermilion Parish Police Jury. Support also is expected from Sen. Mary Landrieu, says Crowley, as well as the Iberia Parish Council, which will vote tonight on a resolution calling for a full halt to the proposed expansion project.
As far as Tuesday’s notice is concerned, OCM’s McCarthy says it is only a public notice and not an approval of JISH’s permit.
McCarthy says public comments will be accepted through Jan. 5, followed by a five-day grace period for comments submitted by mail.
“If there is a public hearing request then that would extend the review period,” adds McCarthy. “There’s no definite date this permit would be issued either. All the possible issues must be resolved before that will happen.”
Likewise, McCarthy says for the project to move forward, JISH also must undergo the application process with all necessary state and federal agencies, mainly DEQ’s Office of Conservation, and the U.S. Environmental Agency, among others.
Click here to view Tuesday’s public notice, and here for more on the fight over Lake Peigneur.
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OCT 30 If you're a Louisiana native of (ahem) a certain age, you might have fond (or fuzzy, as the case may be) memories of a Zebra concert and singing "Who's Behind the Door" until your ears rang. This post on NOLA Defender profiles the leader of that band, Randy Jackson.
OCT 30 The National Journal offers this analysis of Bobby Jindal's willingness to stump in any Senate campaign that's not in Louisiana. Why is that? The Journal asks some GOPers and finds that the answer is one we already know: he's so unpopular here, because he's been so busy running for President, that his support might be "toxic."
OCT 30 If you're not obsessed with the Texas governor's race - what's wrong with you? Here's another installment, from our own IND contributor Lamar White Jr., who explains why Wendy's "infamous" wheelchair ad was a shock to the national media - but not to anyone familiar with Greg Abbott's record.
OCT 30 Blogger Tom Aswell is still all over the OGB mess - and all by himself, apparently. In this post, he's revealing orders from the Jindal administration to destroy records from the state employee health insurance plan. Those orders (he's heard) have angered the Secretary of State and caused an administration lawyer to quit her job. Wow!
OCT 30 Blogger Crazy Crawfish is taking aim at state Superintendent John White again, this time for comments White made recently, claiming that there is no real opposition to Common Core in Louisiana. Crawfish is documenting proof to the contrary here, and lays down the gauntlet to "mainstream news media." (Don't hold your breath on that one, buddy.)
OCT 30 Gambit covers Advocate publisher John Georges' recent visit to Loyola in this post. Georges touches on how things are going in this new gig, what he thinks about the Pic's decision to move printing to Alabama, and how he feels about his political campaigns.
OCT 30 A NOLA lady has alleged she was drugged and raped at a Bywater club that had a clothing-optional policy until recently, and she's now become the victim of a smear campaign, columnist Jarvis DeBerry writes in this post. She chose to reveal her story and her name, and she's being punished for that now, he says.
OCT 30 BESE member Lottie Beebe pens this letter to the editor of the Advocate about the state Department of Education. The DOE isn't exempt from the state public records law, and because of recent lawsuits she tried to require regular reports about how many requests had been made to the department and how many remained unanswered. She wasn't successful.
OCT 29 Manny Schewitz blogs on Forward Progressives about recent Facebook posts from David Vitter, including one that purports to take you to a petition to stop Ebola (say what?) but actually signs you up for his newsletter or campaign email list or some such nonsense. Dave must think we're dummies, Manny says -- and Dave's probably right.
OCT 29 Usually, the copy on Red Shtick is satire. But in this post "from the publisher," we get a pretty astute political analysis of Edwin Edwards' charisma and old-school populist swagger. Edwards isn't concealing billionaire backers, or trying to make his opponent out to be "Satan," the post says. He's just running. Huh; imagine that.
OCT 29 Salon's Elias Isquith writes this fairly hilarious commentary on a National Review post about Bobby Jindal's attempts to "beef up" in preparation for a presidential run. But it's not just funny; Isquith seems to have Bobby's number, commenting on how the Gov "and his team are hopelessly ensconced in the Tea Party bubble."
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