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Policy: Environment & Energy

Fracking operation must rework application

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News,Business,Energy and Environment,Fracking

COVINGTON, La. (AP) — The Louisiana Geological Survey has rendered invalid Helis Oil & Gas Co.'s application for an Army Corps of Engineers' wetlands permit for its proposed oil drilling and fracking project near Mandeville. The move means Helis must submit a revised application for which the public comment period would begin anew.

Corps spokesman Rene Poche told NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune (http://bit.ly/1sbUIRP) Helis will have to show the Geological Survey that the drill site will be productive for oil development. The agency reviewed the permit application to determine the geological suitability for the proposed drilling, Poche said.

He said the new application must be submitted to the corps and to the state Department of Environmental Quality, from which Helis would need a water quality certification.

The new application must be submitted to the corps and to the state Department of Environmental Quality, from which Helis would need a water quality certification, Poche said.

A spokeswoman for Helis said modifications have been requested by the agency but that the drill site has not been rejected.

St. Tammany Parish Councilman Marty Gould said the ruling on the permit was good news.

"I'm thrilled that the Army Corps of Engineers is using good sense here, but Helis is very likely to reapply," Gould said in a statement. "As far as I am concerned, our legal fight should continue."

St. Tammany Parish government and many citizens oppose the project due to concerns that fracking could pollute and air and soil and jeopardize the aquifer that supplies the parish's drinking water.

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Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com

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