Lafourche Parish Council Opposes Tougher Ozone Standards

THIBODAUX, LA (AP) — Lafourche Parish Council members voiced objections to tighter emission standards that could come down from the federal government later this year.

         At Tuesday's meeting, The Daily Comet’s Meredith Burns reports the council unanimously passed a resolution asking the Environmental Protection Agency to delay implementing emission standards and to create a program allowing regional cooperation for communities that do not meet the standards.

         The council also considered joining five surrounding parishes in a South Central Planning and Development Commission campaign to explain to the public and lawmakers how the standards would hurt the area.

         Councilman Mike Delatte sponsored the resolution.

         "What is this country coming to?" Delatte said. "It's hard in south Louisiana, especially anywhere south of I-10 for us to build on our own property because the Corps of Engineers are making us mitigate and raise and build, and you can't get permits and you can't affect the wetlands. Now they've even managed to figure out a way to not only regulate us, cost us on the property we stand on, but now they're looking at the air above? I mean, come on."

         In December the EPA proposed tighter controls on ground-level ozone, which forms when chemicals from emissions from cars, factories and ships react to sunlight.

         The proposal would require ozone limits to fall between 65 and 70 parts per billion, down from the current standard of 75 parts per billion.

         Last year the Houma-Thibodaux region had a level of 68 parts per billion, which means it could fall under non-attainment depending on the final number set by the EPA.

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