On November 13, over 600 people filled the Lakeshore High School gym for a public hearing on a drilling permit for the first hydraulic fracturing site in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana.
According to Patrick Courreges, a spokesman for Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR), it was the first public hearing for a drilling permit that anyone can remember.
DNR isn’t used to opposition to drilling permits and rarely rejects such industry requests. But since April when Helis Oil and Gas announced plans to frack in St. Tammany Parish, 45 miles outside of New Orleans, public opposition has grown steadily in an effort to stop the company’s operations before they start.
Concerned citizens fill the bleachers in the Lakeshore High School gym. ©2014 Julie Dermansky
According to Courresges, if Helis proves they can meet DNR’s requirements, they will be issued a permit. Public comment about quality of life concerns won’t suffice to stop it.
“This is pretty much about construction and operation of the well itself, the wellbore and how it will be constructed and operated, not quality of life issues,” Courreges told DeSmogBlog.