Caddo Commission rejects resolution calling for moratorium on drilling in parish

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CADDO PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A resolution calling for a moratorium on oil and gas operations in Caddo Parish and asking the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources to meet with concerned citizens has failed.

Resolution 60 was proposed by Dist. 12 Commissioner Ken Epperson in response to complaints about drilling noise and pollution in parts of the parish. It asks the state to enact a six-month moratorium on drilling and fracking within the parish until a resolution to the nuisance issues can be reached.

It also asks the state’s Office of Conservation to hold public meetings to discuss several ideas aimed at helping ease citizens’ concerns, including meetings between drilling companies and the people who live near drilling sites, noise and dust mitigation efforts, and better lines of communication between citizens and drilling companies, as well as “eliminating disparities in drilling companies’ treatment of citizens.”

The resolution states “citizens who are lessors were not fully informed of the hazardous conditions surrounding drilling and fracking,” and that “nuisances such as dust and noise pollution are causing health problems and loss of quality of life.”

After discussion during Thursday’s meeting, during which a motion by Commissioner John Atkins to take the request for a moratorium out failed, the resolution itself failed to win the necessary majority of the commission’s approval in a 6-6 vote along party lines.

Voting in favor was Commissioner Epperson, along with Lyndon B. Johnson (Dist. 2), Steven Jackson (Dist. 3), Roy Burrell (Dist. 5), Lynn Cawthorne (Dist. 6), and Stormy Gage-Watts (Dist. 7).

Voting against the resolution were commissioners John Atkins (Dist. 9), Mario Chavez (Dist. 10), Todd Hopkins (Dist. 1), Ed Lazarus (Dist. 11), Jim Taliaferro (Dist. 8), and John-Paul Young (Dist. 4).

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