Plaquemines visits Capitol HillMar 9th, 2011 | By Michelle Provencher | Category: news
During their stay in the capital, the Plaquemines Parish Council and Parish President Billy Nungesser visited with politicians to canvass for issues affecting their home.
Council Chairman Dr. Stuart Guey, District 4, said the items on their agenda included coastal restoration, levee construction and bouncing back after the oil spill.
“We made it known to Senator [Mary] Landrieu one-on-one, Congressman [Jeff] Landry one-on-one and the [Environmental Protection Agency] Administrator Lisa Jackson, that our coastal plan is a must if the nation is going to continue to benefit from the resources that Plaquemines Parish provides,” said Guey.
“If we’re going to continue to live here, we need to be protected,” continued Guey. “Of course, it’s to our benefit, but as I told Administrator Jackson, I know it looks like we’re not a lot – 23,000 people – but if you look at the benefit we are to the nation, this coastal plan is something that benefits the entire nation.”
According to Guey, Plaquemines representatives also made an attempt to persuade Jackson to expedite the necessary permitting process, which otherwise would be quite lengthy.
“The permitting process involves several agencies, so each process has a standard timeline which could take years,” said Guey.
The chairman said the EPA was receptive to their concerns.
“We talked about the permitting process in levees, in our coastal plan mitigating the BP oil spill damage, and told [Jackson] that anything that can be done to shorten the permit process so that it can be more realistic,” Guey said, suggesting a 90 day permitting period. “[We could] make it specific, say just for mitigating what was done with the disaster. Not only will it benefit us, but it will set a precedent for every state in the nation, so that they could also lean on a shortened permit process to get themselves back.”
The trip took place during the second week of February, and is an annual event that invites several Louisiana parishes to take part.