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Industrial gas company looking to store carbon dioxide under Lake Maurepas

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LIVINGSTON PARISH- Starting in October, surveyors will take a look at what is underneath Lake Maurepas using sound waves similar to sonar.

"You're setting off little tiny seismic charges that send vibrations down to the earth and you're reading what comes back to see what sort of layers you have," Patrick Courreges with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, said.

The plan is to create a 3D map as deep as two miles under the lake to find the safest places to store carbon dioxide, rather than letting it escape into the atmosphere.

"You're looking for layers that protect upward movement from that area," Courreges said

It's an effort by Air Products and Chemicals Incorporated to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

"Projects like this one that make all of that possible," Governor John Bel Edwards said during a previous press conference.

Last year, Governor Edwards announced the company is building a blue hydrogen Clean energy complex in Ascension Parish.

"Carbon dioxide generated in the manufacturing process will be captured, removed, and permanently sequestered, instead of being released into the atmosphere," Edwards said.

"In 2026, this clean energy complex will produce 750 million cubic feet a day of clean hydrogen. To put it in perspective, that's enough energy to drive 3 million cars," Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Products, Seifi Ghasemi, said.

Officials say this process is the future of energy and there's nothing to worry about by storing carbon dioxide under the lake. The survey will end in the spring.

Meanwhile there are some concerns. The Livingston Parish council will introduce an ordinance on Thursday meant to at least pause issuing new permits so members can learn more about the process.

"We think it's more safe in the ground than the air, but what does it do to our drinking water? Is there potential for leaks? What is the plan if there is a disaster? We just haven't been able to get that information for our people asking for it," Randy Delatte, Livingston Parish Councilman district 8 said.

Officials with Exoduas, who will be conducting the survey say it will not disturb recreational use of the lake.

Air Products released this statement; "A subsurface survey provides a visual inspection of underground geology. It is being conducted as part of the permitting process. Understanding the geology of the area helps ensure the selection of the optimal places to permanently sequester carbon dioxide (CO2) approximately one mile beneath the lake. Lake Maurepas has safely undergone several similar studies in the past. These surveys follow proven processes to assure the safe collection of data regarding the geology beneath the lake and the surrounding area. Air Products’ Louisiana Clean Energy Complex to be built in Ascension Parish is to be onstream in 2026. The facility will provide approximately 2,000+ construction jobs over three years and 170 new permanent jobs with and average salary over $93,000."

Find more information here.

A meeting was held on Wednesday in St. John the Baptist Parish. Anyone who missed the meeting can reach out to Exoduas or LDNR with their concerns and questions.


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