Testimony to EPA Region 6 Office of Water Class VI Primacy Public Hearing at the Louisiana Department of Natural ResourcesTestimonies, Videos

By Paige Powell, Commission Shift Policy Manager

Hello, my name is Paige Powell, and I am a Policy Manager for Commission Shift. I was born in Baton Rouge Women’s Hospital 39 years ago this week. My parents met at LSU; she was from New Orleans and he was from Denham Springs. I’ve got family in Gonzales, Plaquemine, and all along Cancer Alley. Three of my four grandparents have died of cancer and the fourth of cardiopulmonary disease.

I currently live in Houston. I drove four and a half hours this morning to come over and make testimony on behalf of my ancestors, my kinfolk, and our descendents – but mostly for the State of Louisiana.

LDNR has a long-term history of not protecting the resources which it stewards. Unfortunately, this is the same thing that we are seeing in Texas: there are thousands of orphaned wells across both of our states. We’re seeing well blowouts, geysers, subsidence and uplift, and there are sinkholes eating away parts of the states. I’m sure you’re aware of what’s happened in Bayou Corne and how the coastline is eroding faster than anywhere else in the United States due to rising sea levels.

I know that the authority here in the EPA is to protect underground sources of drinking water, and LDNR has not shown that they can be responsible enough to manage these programs. If you look at the history of their current Class II programs, and you see the failures therein, you can rest assured that they are not suited to manage more responsibility.

I also want to point to the history of industry in this state. Energy Transfer, Denbury, the list goes on and on – it is up to you, EPA, to regulate these industries – and by giving over authority and Primacy to the state of Louisiana, you will be putting the health of the people here at risk. You will be putting the shoreline and the security of future generations at risk.

I just want to make a further plea that you halt the Primacy process altogether. I think that the federal government is not ready to move forward with these projects. There is not enough collaboration between the IRS, Department of Energy, PHMSA, EPA on any of these things. There is no cradle-to-grave carbon accounting methodology; there are no federal rules for CO2 transport; this is not ready to move forward; and EPA, you have the authority to put on the brakes for this process.

So I beg you to stop Primacy in Louisiana, stop it in Texas, and investigate the Class II programs because they are mismanaging their power and you need to intervene.

Thank you.

[Video at 2:06:39]

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