Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Say NO to the Richton Salt Dome and YES to protecting the Pascagoula River Basin

Apparently the good people of Richton do not care about the environmental affects of the salt dome as they will mostly affect those of us on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The DOE proposes to use fresh water from the Pascagoula River basin to wash away the salt. The DOE then plans to pipe the briny solution from Richton to the Gulf of Mexico. That disposal method will require building yet another pipeline through the river basin.

That one-two punch to the ecology of South Mississippi has stirred considerable protest - except in the environs of Richton, a hamlet about two dozen miles east of Hattiesburg at the intersection of Mississippi highways 15 and 42.

They didn't want nuclear waste stored in the Richton Salt Dome back in the 70's and 80's and I don't blame them. But they should show the same concern for those of us who depend on fresh water from the Pascagoula River as well as for those whose livelihood depends on fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Say NO to the Richton Salt Dome and YES to protecting the Pascagoula River Basin.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Glad I Went to The DOE Open House

I attended the DOE's Open House in Pascagoula. They had stations set up explaining what they planned to do and DOE officials on hand to answer questions. It was nice to be able to speak with them one on one and I feel I learned a lot.

I am still opposed to the project, especially the use of fresh water to hollow out the salt dome. I basically get the idea that they haven't looked at other alternatives as they are comfortable with this method as they have used it numerous times before. They need to realize that FRESH WATER is as important to us as OIL and that we need to conserve all our sources of fresh water, not waste them on hollowing out a salt dome. They also need to consider some sort of desalinization plant instead of dumping salt brine into the Gulf.

Others are also opposed to this project.

Dawkins, vice chairman of the Senate's committee for environmental protection, received multiple rounds of applause and two standing ovations for her statement that, among other things, called for the energy department to extend the public comment period.

"This is a half-baked plan, poorly thought out, just like the hearing in Jackson," Dawkins said, criticizing the timing and location of the initial hearings just months after Hurricane Katrina.

Dawkins pointed to environmental issues, especially concerning birds and fish that call the river their home. In addition, the land around the river could not stand up to the heavy equipment that would be required for the project, Dawkins said.

"If we allow you to alter it ... the entire system will change forever," Dawkins said.

They are taking public comments until April 29th.

DOE Website

Strategic Petroleum Reserve Project Management Office

Person to contact with your comments Donald Silawsky. His phone number is 202-586-1892, his fax number is 202-586-4446, his email is

Envelopes and the subject line of emails or faxes should be labeled "Scoping for the SPR SEIS". Conventional mail to DOE may be delayed by anthrax screening, but if you choose to mail the letter here is the address.

Donald Silawsky
Office of Petroleum Reserves (FE-47)
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20585-0301

Articles in the local papers:
Residents choose river, Gulf over oil reserve project

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

DoE and the Richton Saltdome

Officials with the Department of Energy will wait until the final hours of their last session with South Mississippians this week before conducting a true "public meeting" on a proposal to store oil in the Richton salt dome in Perry County.

I plan to attend I hope to see a large number of concerned citizens there.

For further reading

Salt dumped on Coast would eclipse Katrina debris