Conservation

Bayou Bridge Pipeline – Update

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See our earlier article for reference “The Big Pipeline Fight Comes to Louisiana.”

Turnout for the Jan 12, 2017 LDEQ USACE public hearing on the Bayou Bridge pipeline project was outstanding. Opposition to the pipeline greatly outnumbered supporters. Hearing testimony was at times factual, emotional, and even entertaining. Thanks all who showed up and/or who sent written comments. The news now is that there will be another public hearing on Feb 8 at 6 pm at the Assumption Parish Community Center located at 4910 Highway 308, Napoleonville, Louisiana 70390.

The Feb 8 hearing will be conducted by LDNR about a proposed Coastal Use Permit (CUP) which is required for projects in Louisiana’s coastal zone. Though the pipeline crosses eleven parishes, only two parishes that the pipeline would go through are in the coastal zone, Assumption and St. James.

Citizen public input at the public hearing and with written comments will again be very important in order to make sure there is a full discussion of relevant issues. You can see Sierra Club Delta Chapter concerns in the earlier article at: http://lasierraclub.org/node/414

Make your voice heard, attend the public hearing and/or submit written comments to stephanie.zumo@la.gov. You can make reference in your written comments to Bayou Bridge Pipeline CUP NUMBER: P20160166. The hearing file remains open for a period of 10 days after the close of the public hearing for submission of written comments or other materials.

See the LDNR public notice at: http://lasierraclub.org/sites/default/files/PN%20for%20LADNR%20CUP%20hrg...

Defending Our Environmental Laws

enviro law gavel and globe

Defending Our Environmental Laws

Joint program by the LSU Student Sierra Coalition and the Baton Rouge Group of the Sierra Club

America’s environmental laws and protection, the result of decades of citizen advocacy, governmental action, and scientific research, are under attack by a hostile Congress and White House. Learn how ordinary citizens can stand up for clean air, clean water, and our public lands!

Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 630pm

The Big Pipeline Fight Comes to Louisiana

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The Bayou Bridge Pipeline is a proposed 162 mile, 24 inch diameter pipeline that would carry crude oil from south of Lake Charles in Calcasieu Parish and terminate in St. James Parish. The pipeline will carry an estimated 280,000 barrels of oil per day through 11 southern Louisiana parishes and across eight watersheds including the Atchafalaya Basin. The estimated cost of the project is $670 million.

The purpose of the pipeline is to move crude oil that comes down from the Bakken oil field to a location on the Mississippi River for international shipment. This is part of the same pipeline that has generated controversy and strong resistance in North Dakota (the Dakota Access Pipeline) and is being constructed by the same company (Energy Transfer Partners).

Atchafalaya Basin Forested Wetlands Under Siege Part 1

Spoil pile blocking flow of water into swamp

The Atchafalaya Basin in southwest Louisiana guides the Atchafalaya River, a 135-mile long natural distributary of the Mississippi River, that empties into the Gulf of Mexico through the only growing river delta in Louisiana.

The most ecologically important parts of the Atchafalaya Basin are 885,000 acres of forested wetlands and 517,000 acres of marshland, making this the largest river swamp in North America. The Atchafalaya Basin is a refuge for many endangered species and about 100 species of fish, crawfish, shrimp and crabs that feed birds, reptiles and mammals and support sport and commercial fishing. Other animals in the basin include white tail deer, bobcat, coyote, alligator, beaver, nutria, mink, otter, musk rat, armadillo, fox and opossum. The Atchafalaya is considered the most productive swamp in the world, three to five times more productive than the Everglades and the Okefenokee Swamp.

Threats to the Atchafalaya Basin

Perspectives on the 2016 Louisiana Flood

Flooded Baton Rouge 2016-08-15

WHAT's THE BEST WAY TO PREVENT FLOODING?

In the aftermath of the 2016 Flood, the Sierra Club Baton Rouge Group will host three programs on topics related to recovery.

Nov. 17th "Planning During a Time of Climate Change.” Born in Baton Rouge, Camille Manning-Broome, Senior Vice-President at CPEX (Center for Planning Excellence) holds a M.S. degree with an emphasis on Disaster Science, and is a Ph.D. candidate in Environmental Sciences at LSU. She has spearheaded and directed cross-agency projects, publishing documents such as the Louisiana Land Use Toolkit, Coastal Best Practices Manual, View from the Coast, and has worked on Comprehensive Plans in more than 30 communities. Prior to working at CPEX, Camille gained both private-sector and government experience working on a host of issues from strategic planning to hazard mitigation.

Stop the New Tax on Solar in Lafayette - Update, News Development

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Update
As of 6:00 pm, Nov 7 ABiz business news has published a story that Terry Huval LUS Director will request that the Council rescind the new fees on solar. This is a victory for clean energy and common sense in Lafayette. You can read the story here:

http://theind.com/article-24195-About-face-LUS-seeks-repeal-of-‘solar-...

Sierra Club Acadian Group plans to go ahead with the public forum at SLCC on Nov 10 at 7 pm. We will update everyone on what has developed by then and talk about Lafayette's electrical future.

Previous post as follows:

Lafayette Utility Service recently increased its rates and included a new solar tax.

The new monthly fixed fee is $27.26 for every residential solar owner which is $20.26 more than the fee paid by non solar LUS residential customers. This will pretty much eliminate the advantage of having solar on a residence and will kill future development of solar in Lafayette City/Parish. The increase is even worse for commercial customers.

We think the council made a big mistake in passing this extreme rate increase for solar customers.

What you can do:

Don’t Let Irresponsible Members of Congress Kill America’s Conservation Fund

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November 9, 2015

Lafayette, New Orleans – The Delta Chapter of the Sierra Club today urged Louisiana’s Congressional delegation not to support legislation proposed by Representative Ron Bishop (R-Utah), the Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, aimed at undoing the 50 year old Land and Water Conservation Fund.

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund has delivered for America for 50 years,” said Haywood Martin, Chair of the Delta Chapter. “It has created thousands of parks and recreational areas for Americans to enjoy, and it works. The Fund has served the country well since its passage in 1964, and has run smoothly. The majority of its monies come from offshore oil production revenues rather than tax dollars, which would seem to guarantee its support from even the most anti-government member of Congress. But in today’s Congress, nothing works well.”

Martin pointed to over 700 state and local projects created in Louisiana with the Fund’s help since its passage in 1964, and major federal areas as well – twelve National Wildlife Refuges and two National Parks. “These federal lands benefit our state economically as well as environmentally. The National Wildlife Refuges provide key public areas for hunting and fishing, in addition to important wildlife habitat. Louisiana’s two National Parks have brought in hundreds of thousands of visitors and millions of dollars of revenue.”

Sierra Club Statement on the President's Rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline

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Today (Nov 6, 2015) President Obama said yes to clean energy and public health, and no to dirty oil and dangerous pollution. The Sierra Club is thankful that President Obama has chosen the clean energy promise of prosperity and innovation over the dirty fuels of the 19th century.

“By saying no to the Keystone XL pipeline, the president is demonstrating our nation's leadership on climate action in advance of the international climate negotiations in Paris this December, providing an important boost of momentum. He is also making good on his promise that the nation will leave dirty fossil fuels in the ground, replacing it with clean energy.

"Stopping the Keystone XL pipeline is a victory for the planet, for the health and well-being of the communities along the pipeline route, and for future generations to come. It also demonstrates the power of the millions of people who raised their voices in opposition to the pipeline, and of the growing movement to end our dependence on dirty fossil fuels. Now, instead of building a pipeline that cuts our country in two, we are free to invest in clean energy that creates jobs and brings our country together."

Coastal Issues Update Meeting with Bob Marshall

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Bob Marshall, well known environmental reporter from "The Lens" will be the guest speaker for a joint meeting of the the Tulane Green Club and the New Orleans Group of the Sierra Club on November 8th.

Marshall last addressed the Sierra Club in late 2013 to speak chiefly about the coastal damages lawsuit filed by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority - East. He returns to examine the ongoing palette of issues troubling our coastal region with a lens also upon what is going on in Baton Rouge. Marshall will speak on the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan. We look forward to his reporting expertise on these environmental concerns in Southeast Louisiana.

Coasts, Not Coal - RAM Terminal Public Hearing, Sep 17

Coasts Not Coal

The past year and a half has been an amazing experiment in real democracy. Together, the people of southeast Louisiana spoke up and local government listened: we don't want the RAM Coal Export terminal or its dirty coal trains. City and Parish resolutions were passed, Plaquemines Parish denied a construction permit, and a Belle Chasse judge ordered the state permit revoked.

But the RAM Terminal is still at it. It has reapplied for a state permit from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and a public hearing has been scheduled for next week.

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