The Lake Area Industry Alliance is on a quest to get rid of an environmental rule they say is onerous and unnecessary. It's supposed to reduce air pollution, but industry officials say it's not needed. Calcasieu Police Jurors were asked to help rescind the rule.
In the upper atmosphere ozone helps shield us from the harmful effects of the sun. But at ground level ozone is pollution-- the main component of smog and makes it harder to breathe. Ozone is formed when various chemicals from industries and cars react with sunlight and the federal government has standards that must be met.
For the last six years Calcasieu has met federal standards for ozone pollution according to Larry Deroussel with the Lake Area Industry Alliance. He told jurors, "In fact Calcasieu Parish is the only major industrial complex on the Gulf Coast that is in ozone attainment. All the others are non-attainment. Houston, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Baton Rouge and New Orleans. So, I think that speaks very well for our area."
So, the alliance says it's time to get rid of a state environmental rule that was put on Calcasieu before improvements were made. The rule has to do with new air pollution sources and offsetting them by making reductions elsewhere. "The fact that there are no offsets available makes section 510 impractical. It creates a significant potential for negative economic impact and a negative growth potential for the local plants, as a result the local community of Calcasieu Parish and the surrounding area. When meaningful projects present themselves at the plants, the window of opportunity to acquire funds for that project are very narrow as the plants are in competition with other plants in their company for those resources," says Deroussel.
Calcasieu Police Jurors agreed to support the alliance as it seeks to have the environmental rule rescinded.