Jun 20, 2014|
Citizen groups in St. Tammany Parish are serious when it comes to fracking…they plan on taking their fight all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. Don was joined by Rick Franzo, President of Concerned Citizens of St. Tammany and Calli Caastevens, legal counsel for citizens who oppose the issue.
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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
This hour we talked about a recurring theme we've been talking about for quite awhile in the stays on North Shore this issue fracking there was a public hearing that was held in Baton Rouge earlier this week. Now we have tried to get Ellis oil whose the company that is applying for unit tis nation permit which could eventually lead to. On the fracking permit which would be oil and gas extraction from an area. And saint Tammany parish close demanded bill on in near interstate twelve in intersection of highway ten. 1088. And has been residents have been gone -- public hearings trying to get information. Has been several. Organizations have gone on record them being opposed to it for a number of reasons. Joining us is Rick friends old the president of this concerned citizens of saint Tammany also their environmental attorney Kelly has Stephens rejoins us again this week. We did extend invitations to palace again they -- they respectfully decline to come on. -- and give their side of the story we have yet to hear it in public they have not dependent in the public hearings although. Of course they've got to go to the hearing -- for the permit applications and will get a recap on. What went on there also the saint Tammany parish councilman no Marty Gould who introduced the resolution to proceed with a lawsuit to go on record as opposing it I was not able to join us -- so. That being said richt go we can always count on you by thanks took it. It is on anything else to do indeed. Rick well I think one exit. And welcome to you Kelli thank you for being with -- do I think -- Let's start off with with this public hearing was not able to attend that -- I kind of got the Cliffs Notes of -- what was going on there. And then we'll give into the lawsuit filed by saint Tammany parish in your comments and your thoughts on that. But first of all at the hearing Rick you were there that you gave testimony you ask some questions. Got to give us a little review of war went on in Baton Rouge on Monday at that year. Yet to -- Nixon went I thought. Pretty well. I'll listen and I'm really happy about. People -- showed up and they're very articulate and it questions and then and statements. Both to held. Representative and Indian. And I think I think county will get into some of the deficiencies of -- -- Of their response to intelligence or lack of responses. But the little one of the questions that I asked and -- I thought it was on -- that. -- What contingency plan is in place if in fact you do have a failure if you do have a a cracking his ultimate line and we do contaminate to a I did that don't have any contingency plan in place. And in reference to be able to provide what it for the citizens they intend to parish. -- -- parity in the did geologists in the in -- there. On the table so that's a great question but we don't have the answer you know I don't know -- it's like democratic it to do you know. And it's in general and I. That is the question then need to be asking you should be asking this question before you issue any type of permit what a contingency plan because this is the -- also tackle -- The other thing that brought up and -- so it was a -- on point was. You know the report became now polite and legislative ordered this. Just recently about three weeks ago. And MIA a consensus saint Tammany is very good relationship with -- and we were close with them on a lot of different issues. I think one of the best run organizations we have a government -- -- have been in it in the Louisiana. And I said you know they have to report that was quite scolding. Two. Drilling is in the lead people of Louisiana it doesn't matter what kind of drilling -- To review on it. Accountability of these widows and and inspection these warehouses almost nonexistent. And I said -- had basically the -- I can how can you approve any type of welcome followed whether it's. Hydraulic -- or any kind of life should -- Right now Louisiana. Based on allegedly -- is just down the street from you guys. I did. -- opinion is that we have no oversight we have no inspections and we have a lot of decisions and and did the report clearly stated. That Louisiana is way behind eight ball in in in modern training and checking these wells and and that's a problem and that's a big promised to match. And that's how could you had to leave -- your house in order he should not be improved in any permits and the answer. They all look. It is you know oil looked at each other and and I know we we -- hot spot with a visit to WellPoint you know how can you issue in the permit. For drilling anything. If you don't have the the back up to support and inspections. And making sure that it and it it's done it and we don't have that we don't have the reasons that they don't the people for that. And it's obvious from the LA port which is so schools into two. This whole process. And there was no real answer on that make it didn't answer was well this is not really thought of this. Discussion discussion on unit patient as opposed to actually process -- do what you gotta get to that point. Well you asked the big question that everyone is asking you know whether they would have a contingency plan in place if that one source of water. As supplies all the saint Tammany would be contaminated and damaged by the drilling is that. Did you get a look at the application is that part of the department that they have to provide that is at question on the permit application. Well -- kept cal -- get into that she knows the permits threw one down Kelly if you wanna. Respond to Bennett appreciate that. Absolutely comfortable. And company and hitting area. And Mexican guy you know oil and gas operations there that are required haven't played a bill prevention control and counter act or client. And how drought and -- Has not palatable. Date and thank -- parents apartment here. Date and have bill prevention and re learning how to match or any. History. Albert act talent and our record them. They don't rule -- -- Federal or state aid and what you're one of the reasons why we were able to actually. Emperor during border and speed borrow or permit which -- applied for. In part. On the fact that they don't follow the rule -- our applications properly. Created panic they're required. And one point. Rick -- on -- very important and that unit patient here. Mentally or your attorney for bringing. That typically -- -- regulation. Federal or. He. And dying you're -- it. And Eric you know they. And he could game line. And that. It hasn't turned. And I -- you're. I only have one victory or different catchy regulations. Of legal under which I can tell or a committee that that -- mind. And -- and why is very concerned. And it's it's one thing that we. And turn our amusement board and temporary restraining order permanent. And while other comment to their current. Because -- red flag but it has simply not an address and that they had yet. Kelly in the case of the the Saint Martin case when they they were fine. He said they did not have in place in the spill control and -- remediation and it was a -- -- the -- what happened. In the water gets contaminated win all these people go to get -- drinking water and was did did not have it because it was not required. On the permit application -- they just didn't think it was a good idea -- -- -- or at. Was it required and they didn't have an anyway in violation of the requirement when I'm getting at is do they need that plan in order to get this permit. Absolutely he's not permanent handicap Pratt and played. That I -- how did you determine it's the same moment that wasn't. That. That would make a firm after the current -- connect actual activity they have occurred then to. The NR. Bit of protection and that's exactly -- EPA fine -- and -- dollars switched. At an entry as yet okay. Are 101000 dollars. And and I am in Wyoming is a little over here. -- irked by 121000 dollars for putting and company unit for oil and asked about how important it. So the permits are approved on the basis that they gonna provide these other things on the comp. They don't have I have to say here it is in black and why this is in its legally binding. And abide by this is so gimme my permit they actually get on the -- before it's done. What it -- end it on. Each heat for the partly. -- I don't want to two and urging that it happened and I. And you know that can turn in part that is it just mention only. That it. In the back -- the -- -- Did not followed. Regarding actionable well. Between acting without heat -- -- very. Well and -- -- and 25 or. Older action. -- -- are learning. How to track record. And are legally speaking not even taking very very well on the concern. That at this point. To illegally they're -- seeking -- cart record. And they're moving forward -- proposed projects without Colin very basic application. -- -- they are. And I put on it how are -- saying again and again Q and their letters they've admitted it appears school board and tired of people. That -- an -- its neighbors. How angered and are in line. In the tournament and the biggest hit the rough Kelly it's again and what did you think they they were the last ones to speak at Debian on meeting. And the attorney that's. Spoke on behalf of Alice came -- city a week been so open and -- given information on and advising people what's going on. Side that really just want I just won one more second but they said I would've got up and said how come they've never showed up that one. Public meeting never once showed up at any of radio show television to view but they've never come public with the discussion. No other event at a public hearing on it and I I thought that was very disingenuous and I felt that was misleading to. How could how could you not. As far as what that lawsuit is asking in it before we get an argument points are they asking for restraining order roses and outright banned. Warrant investigation on temporary halt on extension what is it basically asking for in that loss. -- declaratory judgment and attorney ball where they're a great job. And -- yet it is apparently what they're saying the court. They declaration. Saying that. Thank him here has the -- -- pretty enact an on board on. And -- thought -- important in that area and -- Two. Main gate and hydraulic fracturing operations. It clearly an actuarial activity. Map -- And hearing what they eat a -- activity is not bound for sure that at their record actually. -- So and that then and Angela and the Portland -- near shore and members years. It never oil and gas operations in the area. And one of the things that was them and how the oil war. Permit application and went in reference to any potential -- awkward thing. And ordered to conduct -- -- in -- -- being wetlands. Yet yet. 44. And you know and that current application and we expect on court because they want -- conducted an activity. And it residential and error an area which is at Actuate and I'll wait or I rule. -- -- income and capital partners. But -- in Asia and actor. On blocker and none of that. You can't permit. It would be and view. You working here and on the and interpreting yours and your act as a victory. And patent and they're not real. The numbers on any membership on concerned citizens. Yeah -- -- our over 2000 or reject them or actually just. Sending out the rest of membership application but we're open 2000 -- we have probably twenty board members and another. Twenty and so committee members last night in a big board meeting actually and had. Had gone forward with what would do Ronan and breaking up so more different strategies. On this since about issues that weren't -- with. And Alec has Stephens is term environmental attorney she's also with -- -- those of you just hearing about this for the first time the the proposed site is at. Near the intersection of highway 1088 which is a kind of between man to bill would be the springs area just up and down the road from a new high school that has been recently built there. It that the the main concern is -- the saint Tammany parish is supplied by sole source aquifer which is an underwater basically river where the water resources drawn from. Other drilling would go through it if there's a problem with a well casing defects and some of the chemicals that might get into the water. As a possibility of contamination but that is only one of the many arguments and being made by the residents of saint Tammany parish or -- of this. And that's where we are right now. There was a public hearing that was held in Baton Rouge to apply for that unionization German group friends was in attendance there. -- like for you to comment on saint Tammany parish government's lawsuit I'm sure you've had a very good look at and if you could kind of dissect -- forest. The way Massey at this two issues one you'd mentioned previously DN on has been. In recent legislative audit reports -- on the they've been negligent that they simply for whatever reason don't have the personnel all the time. While the wherewithal to do the proper inspection of Louisiana's abandon inoperative wells and probably some of the the active wells in the that in mind that was one of the arguments they made on denying his permit the other. Was on the existing zoning laws -- it's an 83 area. -- pretty clearly points out single family residence environment on moderate sized lots. And what it allows is cultural. Education. Religion in public uses I don't know how oil. -- and gas extraction falls into that but if you could. Tell us what you think is does this lawsuit have mine has has legs is -- gonna flock is doable and resulted in denial of the army. Well primal -- but what they're. Carpet. Or. And denial that her what they're doing it there are that the green green apnea approach which member why. They why. The court declared that they're burning ordinances that Harris. You know primary -- arrangement. And -- reasons why they act -- it is one -- me. Regulation. Which I Army Corps of Engineers and reviewing. Require. Yeah I current application. Where -- -- expected there will quietly a local bank which clearly because that year. Earlier. And that's absolutely residential residential area and I and natural. And them near their point you know and natural pay equity. -- they want a court player. That basically -- -- they're -- -- primary Perry. The equity partners opted that they're asking for. Ed hall burn unit is being. The property thanking me carriage and how they -- it. That day climate all the law and act weird C Louisiana let it on the court. You know as we earlier -- net interest and and -- -- ability. And ability. -- effectively and in -- board. Over high over the oil pipeline. You know. They actually and then report. The opposite come conservation. And the Allison active and important. That petitioned me and -- Utley. -- Noncompliance and it hurt operators are committing -- crime and it's now being reprimanded. Efficiently and what the stop that behavior and that he -- ended. Do you -- pointing that out and saying hi and losing strength board pump the -- And halted any any burning. And we check pay able then. Over you happen activity. And and that -- -- Tears -- the law and in the that they call -- -- larger issue and they want declaration on the court. Here's how has yet or have -- to crack at the track. Activities and their players and then it. Thinking your uncle Brighton how we -- has the ability in -- tracking and their carriage. Now initially there was convert and Berkeley around payment page did not feel like they have the ability and -- -- me Louisiana I actually which had been. Strong theory -- -- says. An and use credit that strictly prohibited for interfering. Permit holders. Activity. We'll be back here we don't have current holder -- -- does not hold her so. Parent council and absolutely. Tracking at this point in time. Let the clock is acting -- hard court agreement act to confirm. That -- Because it appeared accountable want to repeat that that actually eat. They -- arm and neck and arm you know. And it would be happy bang they'd get that and your back debate and then the subsequent -- state that that I'm efficiency. Red flag. What would be an -- because it wouldn't be here at the end and think. There will be entry -- the -- -- that. Will be rendered. And that pattern. It's illegal to full. Eight iron. And -- 1980 -- any -- parent. An and I am the commissioner can't agree and gore -- stately and a and well department actually court is really history you know hand for unification. And. And so if in fact to judge agrees with saint Tammany parish is lawsuit then I guess Bolivian appellate. Court at Ellis could go to if they decide to do that. We have that lie. They do have the ability or -- luckily our. IA I would be surprised that they you at that level that you -- I wouldn't say what occurred and when they're out there. Their actions hurt that it would be mean. -- held. I think it would be extremely important for him here's what happened is there's an under their battle. Because and it gives them the confirmation. Yet in. Because then and that and read it at that time but in advance that -- contamination issue. How do you remedy contamination. Of an entire character water supply. And they enter -- -- and and that it. Doug -- -- outweigh the benefits and that's an area fanatic way the prepared count or matter. -- -- that I'm and -- -- act by act quickly. The -- in the military you act. I'll tell you explain that like an NFL analyst -- -- -- a great job. We've got some calls that -- weigh in on the discussion about fracking in saint Tammany parish -- go to John on line three John thank you for you call you on the think that. My question is also a documentary. On HBO yes and about how well how -- went out and played the biggest market. Biggest concern is. This safety opposite happened with Katrina -- -- about one. With the would. Problems. Would you know what BP this stuff. Almost beaten somebody. Gets hit it's well -- -- -- we -- as -- contaminated. That would. You're not alone you concerned John Rick you know has been a lot of studies on this gas lands of video information as some disinformation. Out there but there's a lot of information out there and some that hasn't been learned yet. That's absolutely correct you know and we've a team now legal team. Has been doing it due diligence and continues to do due due diligence on it. And is no doubt that it's not the perfect science and in fact the signs actually has -- Regulations have been eased. All of went but they should've been from two from the -- legislation went through 2005. Actually downgrade is the restrictions and requirements by these oil companies. And it's made it less safe program. And and when you look at the open site which we see just in Louisiana alone and and we know from around the country's. It's similar Louisiana that the only one it doesn't do it is. Back open file -- on these well what they're running with -- closed down and it's the problem around the country you know we're just -- jumping on the bandwagon we can -- vicinity. But nobody is beginning in the long term impact is gonna have gone on the country and the and the and the future for our children grandchild I think to me that's more important. Under and the dollar that would Stefano pockets. -- thank you for the call John let's go to Sherry in Metairie cherries on line 193. Calls here. Hi there thank you for taking my call assured by the effort that you people are making. And I think everybody really the -- realizes that there is no plan B. Maybe it will stop and think through the whole issue but not my issue is with air pollution as well as water pollution that could result. I heard doctor Lopez of this -- currently except that you talked about that runoff you know. That could put on the planet that could pollute the water away. And what I heard about people in Texas. That airborne pollution -- their property for twenty years it's completely destroyed their property. And that was because there wasn't proper vehicles bit of filtration on the as I understand it. So my question is with all of this lacking in monitoring. The woodlands where it's out of sight out of mind because people believe that while life. It in the woods who is -- decision. If if there's airborne pollution as you know. Do you know they've been such checking -- -- and goes and goes down into an area where nobody even there out of sight out of mind. I thank you for you called Sherry if I'm not mistaken Rick in -- didn't saint Tammany parish in new ordinance -- call for regular inspection of air quality of his partisan. Allowing the project to go full. Kelly Nolan -- -- you know. -- an actor that to be quite honest in my cap but my head I don't know I should -- Mary. Raises a very important. Issue which you know is mr. analog which I'm needed I'll and that. There is no real -- way -- Harmony go out and effectively -- a year blocker -- Portugal. Where it is part of oil and gas activity occurred and an inch -- that. -- you know blacks. The retort. Agencies. An effective means to monitor and pinpoint any potential issues. And and that's expected that's the fear is that at some important. On whenever -- now and Q what could be done without. And that that -- and she handed on bury it. Apologize to Patricia -- I'm gonna have time to get you call on this to follow up on cherries call Cali in in Rick. I did find in the saint Tammany parish open letter from -- -- as saying that they promised to work closely with the Q. Whose responsibility it is to monitor air quality war with them to establish baseline data regarding air quality in the vicinity of any pro pulls drilling site. And monitor that quality of course that's just a statement from saint Tammany I don't know if that's required on their permit. We just about out of time thank both of you for being here I guess we'll continue to do this even if there's just only us chickens and we can't take represented -- for. And -- from Ellis all the come on with this and will you know assisting progresses on will stay with the tillage Marianne because I see is the biggest issue facing the socioeconomic. -- -- examine it. No I'm just a quick note -- would been working with had two meetings this week with the attorneys for the parish council and some of the parish councils well. And trying to work and cooperate with sentiment and I believe which moving in the right direction. Very good thank you also much and look forward to the next does it make it. All right coming up next is -- the question now you money or yourself all you expecting here and I hope not will be back to talk about that and the think tank.