(PHOTO: TIM ISBELL/SUN HERALD)
The Sun Herald has a series on a Dept. of Energy plan to drain millions of gallons of water from a river to dissolve the Richton Salt Dome for oil storage for expansion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.Today’s article reports on the economic and environmental impact of the plan which has been “denounced by local officials, conservationists, scientists and
recreational users as a potential environmental and economic
catastrophe based on faulty science.”Yesterday’s article from the Sun Herald reported on how the federal government pushed the plan through under the disarray of Katrina.
The federal government wants to drain 50 million gallons of water each
day for five years from either the Leaf River or Pascagoula River to
hollow out the Richton salt dome for underground oil storage. The plan
has been criticized by local officials and conservationists, who say
the government quietly pushed it through in the disarray after Katrina.
DoE announced “its intent to explore the environmental impact” for the project just 3 days after Katrina. “The agency cancelled public
meetings in Hattiesburg and Pascagoula scheduled for early October 2005
because the meeting places had been damaged.” They were re-scheduled for 2 weeks later to be held in Jackson, MS. Conservationists and local officials claim they were left out of the process due to this…
- “Nobody had a TV or electricity,” said Rebecca Stowe, director of the
Nature Conservancy’s office in Merrill. “It definitely seems to have
flown under the radar.” She said she had no knowledge of the
announcement or subsequent public meetings, and she believes George
County officials also knew nothing of the plan.
- The Jackson County Board of Supervisors was left out of the loop,
said Supervisor Frank Leach at a recent Sierra Club meeting about the
- “You can’t have a democratic and public process so soon after Katrina.
It hasn’t been an open process,” said Jeff Grimes, assistant director
of water resources for the Gulf Restoration Network, a New Orleans
The Sun Herald reports this on the environmental-impact report for the project –“Other than a general safety plan, little was said about the impact of
hurricanes to coastal and offshore structures and pipes outlined in the
And who performed the environmental assessment report?
None other thanICF International, the company that has performed so poorly in handling Louisiana’s Road Home program.