Marianne Cufone, an attorney for Concerned Citizens of St. Tammany, told the newspaper: “Obviously, we’re disappointed. I think there were several ways to interpret the law that’s out there, but the judge’s interpretation was not our interpretation.”

However, as the Times-Picayune notes, “the much-anticipated ruling, coming after a year of controversy over the project, does not mean Helis Oil & Gas Co. of New Orleans is free to start drilling.”

St. Tammany Parish is likely to file an appeal, and Helis still needs a wetlands permit from the Army Corps of Engineers before it could begin work.

And St. Tammany Parish Council member Jake Groby called on his council colleagues and citizens to continue the fight: “This is the beginning of the industrialization of St. Tammany, and I am asking the citizens to get off the couch, stand with us and defend their home,” Groby said at the hour-long hearing before Judge Morvant. “We won’t get just one [well], we’re going to get dozens, if not hundreds of these things. Is that what we want to leave our children and our grandchildren?”

Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *