Coastal Use Permit may have been required for pumping into canal in Cameron Parish

Coastal Use Permit may have been required for pumping into canal in Cameron Parish
Discharge pipe in Cameron Parish may have needed DNR coastal use permit.

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Last week we reported concerns among crab fishermen in Cameron Parish concerned about brown water flowing into a canal that flows into the Mermentau River. The pump and discharge pipe are at Mermentau River Road and Pumpkin Ridge.

Environmental agencies are still trying to sort out who is responsible for it and whether they have the right permits.

Officials with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources say they are investigating that pump in Cameron Parish that has raised concerns from crab fishermen who provided video of it discharging brown water.

A DNR spokesman says the pump appears to be something that would require a “coastal use permit” and that the agency finds no permit for it, but the investigation continues.

Crab fisherman Teddy Broussard says it had been operating since April but stopped discharging water last week-- around the time the publicity started. He says he hopes it stays stopped or at least is cut back:

“You know what, I’m getting by, by the grace of God. He’s been wonderful to me. I’m going to make it. But it’s just that they have dug into my income now. My little old social security check, it’s just peanuts compared to what I can make with the crabbing operation,” said Broussard.

There is also confusion about who owns and operates the pump. Before it was installed, a $25 application for a road construction permit was made in the name of Little Pecan Cattle Company.

Regardless of whose pump it is, Broussard thinks the public should have had a say in it.

“I think they should have contacted somebody to see since we never had something like this. I don’t even know if the operator of this project knows what could have occurred like is occurring. But the gravity drainage board, no formal application was filed with them. Nothing was done with the police jury. I understand nothing was done with the corps of engineers. If I do something wrong the corps going to have helicopters circling my place to write me up or take me to jail,” said Broussard.

A spokesman at the Corps says they are checking to see if they have any information on the pump. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality investigated, but it appears the pump is under the Department of Natural Resources.

So far, we have not been able to reach anyone with Little Pecan Cattle Company.

We are also waiting to hear back from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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