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La. governor wants Capitol Lakes prioritized for pollution cleanup
BATON ROUGE - Governor John Bel Edwards sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday to designate the Capitol Lakes as a superfund site, prioritizing the lakes for federal funding needed to clean up high levels of pollution in the bodies of water.
“The lakes are a wonderful asset for our state, but we have known for quite some time that they have been plagued by pollution,” said Gov. Edwards.
“We now have a tremendous opportunity to breathe new life into the lakes that will make them a healthier environment for wildlife that inhabit them and the many people who would use them recreationally. The process will take some time, which is why we must move forward with getting things started. This is an investment in the future of the lakes and everyone who enjoys them now and for years to come.”
Contamination from polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs) has been an issue in the lakes on the north side of the Capitol Complex since 1983 when the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) investigated a report of PCB-laden oil entering the lakes.
Since then, signs posted around the lakes by LDEQ, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Louisiana Department of Health have warned against any consumption of fish from the lakes or any contact with the waters or sediments.
“This investment will transform the Capitol Lakes area into a place that is healthy and safe for both wildlife and residents,” said Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome. “Local leaders and citizens have long advocated for improving the quality of the lakes because they are an enormous cultural asset for our community. When the process is complete, we will have another place in the heart of Baton Rouge where families and individuals can enjoy our environment.”
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