Mary Tutwiler

Lake Peigneur bill headed to governor

by Mary Tutwiler

A bill to aid environmental group Save Lake Peigneur in their fight to stop Atlanta based AGL Resources from building two compressed natural gas storage chambers in the salt dome beneath the lake has won final passage of the House, 56-34, and is on its way to the governor’s desk. The land owners from around the lake have done battle to stop industrial development since 1994, complaining that the area has suffered enough from out-of-state companies exploiting local natural resources at the expense of Louisiana residents. Senate Bill 754, by Iberia Parish Senator Troy Hebert restricts the amount of water that can be withdrawn daily from the Chicot Aquifer, in effect hamstringing AGL’s plans to use at least three million gallons of fresh water a day to scour out storage chambers in the salt dome. The resulting brine would have been injected deep into strata below the sands of the aquifer. “We’ve been shot down so many times,” says Save Lake Peigneur vice-president Nara Crowley, “we were hopeful, but didn’t know what was going to happen. There were at least 10 lobbyists there opposing us. We had to fight very hard. This morning, we’re ecstatic.”