In the end, the Mandeville City Council deferred action on a proposed resolution to ban fracking. Council members said they needed more time and more information about the practice before making a decision.
About a half-dozen Mandeville residents spoke during the meeting to make the case against fracking. But no one from Helis Oil and Gas was there.
Helis is a New Orleans company. They’re seeking permits to drill a well just north of Interstate 12 and use the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, method to extract oil and gas.
While critics of a proposed hydraulic fracturing project in Mandeville appeared at a state hearing in Baton Rouge, a lawsuit was filed in a nearby courtroom to stop the plan.
The New Orleans Advocate is reporting that the state Department of Natural Resources is considering a permit requested by Helis Oil and Gas. The hearing focused on whether the 960-acre parcel north of Interstate 12 is large enough to handle the process known as fracking.
The St. Tammany Parish Council is filing a lawsuit claiming the project can’t be done on land zoned for residential use.
The nation's boom in natural gas production has come with a cost: The technique used to get much of the gas out of the ground, called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has contaminated drinking water. But how often and where this contamination is taking place is a matter of much debate and litigation.
Now, a new study has found natural pathways of contamination — but that doesn't mean the drilling industry is off the hook.
The law grants physicians access to information about trade-secret chemicals used in natural gas drilling. Doctors say they need to know what's in those formulas in order to treat patients who may have been exposed to the chemicals.
But the new law also says that doctors can't tell anyone else — not even other doctors — what's in those formulas. It's being called the "doctor gag rule."
By Tom Gjelten, Alyson Hurt, Andrew Prince and Avie Schneider | NPR
For many years, natural gas companies have been producing the fuel from "conventional" gas reservoirs, relatively close to the surface and easily accessible. New shale gas production techniques have opened much wider areas for exploration, including the Marcellus area in Pennsylvania and Haynesville area in Texas and Louisiana.
Quite a few of the 225 people who live in Dish, Texas, think the nation's natural gas boom is making them sick.
They blame the chemicals used in gas production for health problems ranging from nosebleeds to cancer.
And the mayor of Dish, Bill Sciscoe, has a message for people who live in places where gas drilling is about to start: "Run. Run as fast as you can. Grab up your family and your belongings, and get out."
A proposed study of people in northern Pennsylvania could help resolve a national debate about whether the natural gas boom is making people sick.
The study would look at detailed health histories on hundreds of thousands of people who live near the Marcellus Shale, a rock formation in which energy companies have already drilled about 5,000 natural gas wells.
If the study goes forward, it would be the first large-scale, scientifically rigorous assessment of the health effects of gas production.