Opponents voice concerns about Lake Charles Methanol permit

Published: Feb. 25, 2022 at 7:58 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - A permit renewal for a nonexistent methanol plant in Lake Charles was the subject of a public hearing last night in Carlyss.

It’s the one first called Leucadia or Lake Charles Cogen and now it’s Lake Charles Methanol.

Air pollution, climate change, global warming and greenhouse gases - those are just some of the concerns raised about Lake Charles Methanol’s permit request before DEQ.

It was a small group, and only those against Lake Charles Methanol’s proposal spoke at the hearing at Carlyss Park.

They came from as far as Baton Rouge and Houston.

Naomi Yoder of Houston has numerous concerns, especially about the health of people and the environment.

“This permit would allow hundreds of tons of criteria pollutants to be emitted each year. Plus, over six million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent each year,” she said.

Rev. Jim VanderWeele from Baton Rouge said he worries about the earth his six grandchildren will inherit. And he expressed concerns about people who live in Louisiana.

“Will the flood of hurricanes sweeping across southern Louisiana continue to escalate in their force and their frequency. I’m upset about this! People across America are upset about what is happening!” he said.

And there were locals such as Cynthia Robertson of Sulphur, concerned about safe water.

“We do not want any more stress on our water supply. Our area already bears a horrible burden in air pollution. And nowhere is there any ongoing current monitoring of the cumulative burden that we bear,” she said.

Jim Hiatt of Lake Charles called the proposal a pipe dream.

“This has been planned for 15 years and it can’t get off the ground, and it keeps on getting extension after extension. At some point the DEQ should be on the side of the people, not the industry and say, ’You don’t have it together. You’re not going to sequester the carbon.’”

Several people representing Lake Charles Methanol were there but did not speak, respond to concerns and they declined to do an interview.

Those who did not attend the hearing still have time to send comments to DEQ as long as they are in by 4:30 p.m. Monday.

Check the following links for access to the public notice, application and company website.

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