Lafayette Water Quality in Question

CONTAMINATION DETECTED

IN LUS WATER WELLS

OPEN PUBLIC MEETING

y49

 TAKES A TURN

OPEN PUBLIC MEETING

 DOWNTOWN PUBLIC LIBRARY

 Thursday, January 19, 2017 @ 6:30 P.M.

        CONTAMINATION DETECTED IN LUS WATER WELLS

We knew the contamination was in the ground,

NOW we know it is in the LUS water system.

(Youngsville, Broussard, Carencro, Scott, Milton, Lafayette)

Let’s Talk About It ! Join Us January 19th Downtown Library

 YOU MATTER – WE COUNT

 Y-49 STAKEHOLDERS

         UNITE to PROTECT OUR WATER !

       “Be Informed, Be Involved, Be Included”

GOODELL  LAW FIRM

820 EAST ST. MARY BLVD. LAFAYETTE, LOUISIANA  70503

P.O. BOX 5 2663

LAFAYETTE, LA 705 05

WILLIAM W.  GOODELL, JR., L.L.M Energy and Environment

337.412.2724

bill@goodelllaw.com wgoodell@tulane.edu www.goodelllaw.com


Press Release

December 14, 2016

Article IX of the Louisiana Constitution mandates:

“The natural resources of the state, including air and water, and the healthful, scenic, historic, and esthetic quality of the environment shall be protected, conserved, and replenished insofar as possible and consistent with the health, safety, and welfare of the people.”

This has been interpreted by our Louisiana Supreme Court to require that the “rights of the public must receive active and affirmative protection” by government bodies.

In the course of my investigations and work as an environmental attorney I have recently determined the following:

The Chicot Aquifer has been designated a “Drinking Water Sole Source Aquifer” by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.   USEPA defines a “Sole Source Aquifer” (SSA) as an aquifer which “supplies at least 50% of the drinking water for its service area, and there are no reasonably available alternative drinking water sources should the aquifer become contaminated” (USEPA 2016).

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality has implemented state groundwater protection programs of which the City of Lafayette and the Lafayette Utilities System are participants.  Within this area of heightened awareness for Chicot  Aquifer  protection  is  the  downtown  Lafayette  Union  Pacific  Railroad property  where Union   Pacific   conducted   maintenance   operations   from approximately 1890-1960. (UPR Property).

Historical site environmental assessment  investigations on file at the Louisiana

Department of Environmental Quality found the presence of:

  • Phase Separated  Hydrocarbons  (PSH)  at  multiple  locations  within  the property extending to a depth of 12 feet below ground surface (ft-bgs).
  • Petroleum hydrocarbon and organic  compound  contamination of soil at each of   the   subdivided   properties   investigated   with   contamination extending to a minimum depth of 20 ft-bgs.
  • Petroleum  hydrocarbon   and/or   organic   compound   contamination   of groundwater within the FRR Facility extending to a minimum depth of 44 ft-bgs.
  • At least  60  organic  and  inorganic  compounds  have  been  detected  in soil/groundwater at this former Union  Pacific   facility   property  with approximately 175 volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds tentatively identified in soil/groundwater during site investigation activities (Sigma 2006).
  • Some of these compounds are included on the Hazardous Substance List.

(40 CFR Part 302.4) and/or the Toxic Pollutant List (40 CFR Part 401.15).

  • In compliance with  the 1996  amended  Safe  Drinking  Water  Act,  LUS publishes  water quality reports  summarizing  the substances  detected  in the water supply before and after treatment (LUS 2012, LUS 2015).
  • The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (LDHH) maintains an on-line database of water quality data from wells providing  public water supply (LDHH 2016).  The LDHH database includes laboratory analytical results  for  many  of  the  contaminants  detected  at the UPR  Facility  but many tentatively identify organic compounds are not included in the LDHH monitoring program.
  • Approximately 175 organic compounds have been tentatively identified in soil and groundwater samples from the UPR Facility (Sigma 2006).
  • Both the  LUS  and  LDHH  databases  have  identified  low  concentration detections of  P-Dichlorobenzene (1A-Dichlorobenzene).   P­ Dichlorobenzene  has also been detected at the FRR Facility as part of site investigation  activities (Attachment   A).    P-Dichlorobenzene  has  been identified  as a Group  C, possible  human  carcinogen,  by the  U.S. EPA (USEPA 1992 updated 2000).
  • In the LDHH database, P-Dichlorobenzene/1A-Dichlorobenzene has been detected in groundwater from three water supply wells (55-559,  55-560, and  55-585)  immediately  north  of  the  FRR  Facility  since  2012  (LDHH

2016).

  • P-Dichlorobenzene was  detected  in  a  second  sampling  event  in  2015 (LDHH 2016).
  • The recurring detection  of this  volatile organic  compound  in a group  of closely located water supply wells  is  indicative   of   groundwater contamination which is now being drawn into the LUS/City of Lafayette municipal water supply wells.
  • The precise source and areal of groundwater  contamination  is currently unknown.
  • It is  also  unknown  if  other  organic  compounds   associated  with  this contaminant plume are migrating toward the water supply wells.

This contamination and its migration towards and into the LUS water wells is a understatedly a huge problem. Lafayette Government has known about this problem for a long time and failed to do anything to address it.  By ignoring and continuing to ignore the problem Lafayette Government has exacerbated it.

Where is our Lafayette Government, where is its leadership? Approximately one month ago I sent public records requests to Lafayette

Consolidated Government, LUS, LDEQ, and DOTD asking for their records

regarding these matters. To date they have failed to produce any responsive documents.

When will Lafayette Government, LDEQ and DOTD step up to the plate and act affirmatively to protect health safety and welfare of its citizens. What is getting in the way of our public bodies from taking action?

Lafayette Government, LDEQ and LDOTD, take action now and embrace your responsibilities as public trustee and do the right thing.

A press conference will be held today, December 14, 2016 at 3 p.m. on the steps of the Lafayette Parish Courthouse. If additional information is needed, please

call Cari Broussard at 337-534-0178.

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About Cauchemar Media 76 Articles
Cauchemar Media: Freelance Writer/Editor/Screenwriter/Novelist/Photographer/Video Editor/Uranian Astrologer, from New York, now living and teaching writing deep in Cajun Country. http://www.cauchemarmedia.com

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