Danger - Jefferson Island Storage & Hub Expansion

While this issue does not involve public education directly, I believe it is important that the citizens of Louisiana hear a side of the story that will probably never make the mainstream media.  This letter was written by a friend who requested that I share it.  If you would like more information, I will be glad to pass it on to Glo.  Please share this freely.  

March 12, 2013

Commissioner Clyde C. Holloway

Commissioner Scott A. Angelle

Commissioner Lambert C. Boissiere, III

Dear Sirs:

Since Jan. 2011 I have become interested in AGL Resources’ expansion of their Jefferson Island Storage & Hub natural gas salt dome caverns.  I have attended meetings in Baton Rouge with the DNR Senator Committees, the DEQ Senator Committees, and the DNR/Office of Conservation meeting about saltwater intrusion into Baton Rouge’s aquifer. 

I also have friends who live or did live on Bayou Corne.  This is a horrible situation.  I have gotten to know more people who lived there. So many of these people do not want the same thing to happen to the people who live on Lake Peigneur and have been very helpful.

February 20, 2013, the DNR/Coastal Management had a public hearing on issuing a permit to AGL Resources to expand JISH.  Save Lake Peigneur had expert witnesses.

In spite of the ongoing salt dome cavern sinkhole disaster in Assumption Parish

In spite of the bubbling in Lake Peigneur – cause unknown

In spite of the Lake Peigneur disaster of 1980

In spite that the Department of Natural Resources does not require an Environmental Impact Statement or a Seismic Study

In spite of Jefferson Island Storage & Hub’s engineering company, TKE Engineering Co., engineer of Moss Bluff, TX natural gas salt dome caverns, completed in 2002 and having 2 explosions in 2004.

In spite of JISH having the right to drill for and extract water as may be necessary, incidental, or desirable for the Permitted Purposes, including, without limitation,

In spite of Eugene Owen,   Director & Chairman of Utility Holdings Inc., Baton Rouge Water Company, etc. testifying at another meeting that contamination problems in Iberia Parish, wells had to be moved, costing millions.  Increased withdrawal from the Chicot Aquifer by AGL Resources’ (JISH) proposed well-pumping would significantly accelerate the rate of potential contaminates, arsenic.

In spite that the Lake Arthur Fault that runs alongside Lake Peigneur and continues through the Magnolia salt dome at Bayou Corne/Napoleonville. 

There was an earthquake 3/11/2013 magnitude 2.9 occurred, in the Gulf of Mexico.

DNR/Coastal Management has issued the permit to start the expansion of the Jefferson Island Storage & Hub natural gas storage by dredging.

On  Feb. 27th, I requested the video of the New Iberia Coastal Management meeting of Feb 20th.   Sharon McCarthy, Coastal Management, advised me she would forward my question on to the appropriate personnel and let me know.  I never heard anything.

On March 6 again I requested the video from Coastal Management saying that Pursuant to the Public Records Act of Louisiana (R.S. 44:1 et seq.), I respectfully request the video of the meeting of Feb 20th in New Iberia.  I finally received an answer from the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources legal department. 

Isaac Jackson, in his first email, stated so long as I pay the cost of reproducing the video, which I am told should be under $20 plus postage; they should be able to fulfill my request by the close of business today.    

The next email I received from Mr. Jackson, he stated that once done, I could download the file(s) at no cost.  Please know, however, that the video camera was only able to capture about 20 minutes of the hearing. The video ran out of space and was unable to capture the entire meeting. 

Sirs, this is unbelievable, that the only part of the video is the 20 minutes that the AGL Resources man told what type of dredging and none of Save Lake Peigneur’s expert testimony was on the video.   The person, I noticed throughout the meeting was standing up, videoing the whole meeting.  Is Mr. Jackson telling me that that the person videoing never knew that the camera was not working?  Now Mr. Jackson tells me that I can have the transcription of the meeting on March 20th. 

Sirs, the DNR/Office of Conservation is looking bad enough with the sinkhole in Assumption parish, please do not let them make the same mistakes that they made in issuing permits in Assumption parish.

I am all for the oil and gas industry, having worked for years in the industry, but I am not for destroying people’s lives.

Some of the things that the DNR/Coastal Management failed to address in their email to me are:

 Page 2 – paragraph 4: Regarding the bubbling, “the investigations completed by governmental agencies will continue to be evaluated. Any consideration from existing operations or geologic anomalies would be a consideration of the Office of Conservation when reviewing pending permit applications.”  What investigations? There have been no conclusive studies. The equipment was stolen during some investigations. Our geologist clearly states in his report,  “Removal of sediment seal by the dredging operation could result in the release of a greater volume of gas bubbles from existing fractures, and the release of bubbles from new areas of Lake Peigneur.” Has Secretary Chustz reviewed this permit approval?

Dr. Losonsky’s statement clearly addresses the potential hazards to environment and human life if the dredging operation adversely exacerbates the unexplained bubbling activity. The dredging may not be the straw that breaks the camel’s back but at some point there will be another disaster in Lake Peigneur simply because of the unexplained bubbling.

I hope you understand why I am emailing this letter to you.  Right now the people that live in Assumption parish are lucky that no one has been killed.  This looks terrible for the State of Louisiana.  Please do not let this happen to Lake Peigneur. 

Commissioner Angelle,  you were Secretary of the DNR for 8 years and should be aware of these problems.

Sirs, please get involved with the issuing of these permits to AGL Resources to expand Jefferson Island Storage & Hub salt dome natural gas caverns.  I understand that Conservation Commissioner Jim Welsh has told all salt dome operators to show that their caverns are secure. Is this enough?  We do not want another sinkhole disaster at Lake Peigneur.


Glo Conlin

cc: Friends

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