Natural Resources Secretary Scott Angelle noted that it was “an opportunity well worth pursuing to incorporate community block grant funding with what the agency had already received to get this project completed.”
He said DNR’s Office of Conservation, in 2008, received federal funding from EPA allowing the office to inspect and make assessments of damaged water wells in the coastal areas as a result of the storms’ impacts. At that time, the office contracted with GEC Inc. to survey in the coastal communities and to make immediate repairs for wells that were considered to be at high risk to the environment.
With permission from property owners to plug or repair these wells, many were addressed either through the Office of Conservation’s program or by the property owners themselves.
However, about 100 water wells remained as moderate to high risk for contamination, and the office sought out and secured Division of Administration’s Community Development Block Grant funds to contract for the repair and plugging of those water wells. Angelle, who also serves as the Ground Water Resources Commission chairman, said the department had full support from commission members.
Petron LLC of Alexandria began work this week to repair 50 wells located in Calcasieu, Cameron, Iberia, Orleans, St. Charles, St. Mary, St. Tammany and Vermilion parishes and are expected to complete the job by the end of April. The remaining wells are to be addressed in a second phase of the repair work, according to the agency’s environmental division.