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Professors share pollution concerns over oil and gas drilling in Caddo Parish

*NOTE: This is a stock photo.Pixabay
*NOTE: This is a stock photo.Pixabay(Pixabay)
Published: Feb. 23, 2022 at 1:46 PM CST
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CADDO PARISH, La. (KSLA) - According to the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, the petroleum industry accounts for “almost 25% of the total state revenues, or about $1.2 billion dollars.”

On the flip side though, oil and gas wells have caused concerns for scientific experts and some local leaders, specifically because residents have noticed wells closer to their neighborhoods.

“My biggest concerns are the plans that are developing in the more populated areas of Caddo Parish. Wells are being placed in areas of the city that are much more populated, which I think poses some dangers,” said Dr. Brian Salvatore, chemistry and physics department chair at LSUS.

According to the Environmental Defense Fund, Caddo Parish has the most abandoned wells in the State of Louisiana, with 1,122.

“Most companies are set to make profit, and the profit is the number one motivator,” said Dr. Peter Siska, a biological sciences and environmental professor at LSUS. “That’s what motivates this fracking as well.”

Both the Shreveport City Council and the Caddo Parish Commission have addressed drilling concerns by passing resolutions.

In August of 2021, Shreveport asked the state for a moratorium on drilling until residents’ concerns were addressed in a public meeting. The spokesperson for the Office of Conservation said the office has not received notice of this request.

Earlier in February, the commission agreed to ask the state to “consider the negative impacts of oil and gas drilling in and near urban areas” and to “implement rules combating those negative impacts.”

At the commission meeting, the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association (LMOGA) and the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association said the requests were “unnecessarily restrictive” and essentially imposed “a de facto moratorium” on oil and natural gas drilling in the parish.

The conservation office spokesperson said the office is doing research on their requests. He also said people should reach out to the regional office at 318-676-7585, or DNRConservation.Shreveport@la.gov, or a Caddo Parish commissioner if they have concerns.

KSLA has previously interviewed other Caddo Parish residents upset about the noise, dusting, and truck traffic in and near their neighborhoods.

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