Bayou D'Inde targeted for cleanup

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA. (KPLC) -It seems as though they've been investigating pollution in Bayou D'Inde and other areas of the Calcasieu Estuary for as long as memory serves. And while 85 per cent of the estuary got a clean bill of health,  there remain several areas state officials say need action. Now is the time for interested citizens to get involved.

For decades scientists, government regulators and others have been studying and debating what needs to be done to clean up areas of industrial pollution in the Calcasieu Estuary. Five areas have been identified as needing further action including parts of Bayou D'Inde along with Lockport Marsh; Lower Bayou Verdine and Clooney Island Loop, Coon Island Loop and the Citgo Lagoon.

Now studies have yielded recommendations for corrective action. Actions state environmental officials hope will prevent any lingering problems for future generations.  As Assistant DEQ Secretary Buatt put it in 2008, "We think that with employment of this remedy that Bayou D'Inde will soon be fishable and swimmable." Reporter: in our lifetimes? Buatt, "Yes mam. In our lifetime, believe it or not. Possible actions range from digging it up, to covering it up with concrete mat or putting six inches of cover over it such as in the area of Lockport Marsh and re-routing of PPG Canal."

Whatever is decided those who have been watching for many years hope those making the decisions have the public's best interest in mind. Says resident Barry Valentine, "Well, I hope that they would be good stewards and that they would be prudent and tedious, in correcting any of the mistakes that may have happened in the past so that the future of Lake Charles and all, because this affects the seafood, the shrimp, all are born in that water."

The public has 45 days to review and comment on the plans and recommendations which culminates in a public hearing March 23rd. Anyone who wishes to look at the corrective action study can see it at Central Library in Lake Charles; the library in Sulphur; DEQ in Lake Charles or Baton Rouge. Or click here for DEQ's web site.

The public hearing on the corrective action plans is March 23rd. We'll let you know when time and place are announced.

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