LSP: Keeping hazardous loads off interstates not an option
BATON ROUGE - A chemical spill which shut down a portion of I-10 in Baton Rouge all day Wednesday caused some people to question whether dangerous materials should be hauled through the capital city.
However, authorities say big rigs transport hazardous materials through Louisiana every day, and keeping them off the roads isn't an option.
"In Louisiana, a large number of the nation's hazardous materials are destined to, produced in, or shipped from Louisiana, so it passes through our state, so it's very important that state police have a handle on it through our motor carrier enforcement," said Capt. Doug Cain with Louisiana State Police.
At least 101,000 vehicles pass through I-10 at Essen Lane and about 25 percent of those are big rigs. There are some hazardous materials which aren't allowed on the road, though.
"They may be required to travel by rail, ship, or by air, but there are certain chemicals that are not allowed on the highway," said Capt. Cain.
The chemicals that do make it on the road are thoroughly vetted by four different State Police entities.
"These are troopers out everyday, inspecting trucks, inspecting rail cars, doing weights and measurements, checking trucks at scale houses, so this a is a daily operation for Louisiana State Police," said Capt. Cain.