IN LUS WATER WELLS
OPEN PUBLIC MEETING
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
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
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
- 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.