LIVINGSTON PARISH – Beginning in October, surveyors will examine what lies beneath Maurepas Lake using sonar-like sound waves.
“You trigger little, tiny seismic charges that send vibrations down to the earth, and you read what comes back to see what kind of layers you have,” said Patrick Courrèges of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources.
The plan is to create a 3D map as deep as two miles below the lake to find the safest places to store carbon dioxide, rather than letting it escape into the atmosphere.
“You’re looking for layers that shield the upward movement of that area,” Courrèges said.
This is an effort by Air Products and Chemicals Incorporated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Projects like this make it all possible,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said at a previous press conference.
Last year, Governor Edwards announced that the company was building a blue hydrogen clean energy complex in Ascension Parish.
“The carbon dioxide generated in the manufacturing process will be captured, removed and permanently sequestered, instead of being released into the atmosphere,” Edwards said.
“In 2026, this clean energy complex will produce 750 million cubic feet of clean hydrogen per day. To put it into perspective, that’s enough energy to drive 3 million cars,” Air Products Chairman and CEO Seifi Ghasemi said.
Officials say this process is the future of energy and there is nothing to worry about storing carbon dioxide under the lake. The investigation will be completed in the spring.
In the meantime, there are some concerns. Livingston Parish Council will introduce an order on Thursday to at least suspend the issuance of new permits so members can learn more about the process.
“We think it’s safer in the ground than in the air, but what does it do to our drinking water? Is there a risk of leaks? What is the plan in case of disaster? We just haven’t been able to get that information for our people asking for it,” said Livingston Parish District 8 Councilman Randy Delatte.
Exoduas officials, who will lead the investigation, say it will not disrupt recreational use of the lake.
Air Products has released this statement; “A subsurface survey provides a visual inspection of the subsurface geology. It is conducted as part of the permitting process. Understanding the geology of the area helps ensure the selection of optimal locations to permanently sequester carbon dioxide (CO2) about one mile below the lake.Maurepas Lake has been the subject of several similar safe surveys in the past.These surveys follow proven processes to ensure the safe collection of data regarding the geology below the lake. lake and surrounding area Air Products’ Louisiana Clean Energy Complex to be built in Ascension Parish is scheduled to be commissioned in 2026. The facility will provide approximately 2,000 construction jobs on three years and 170 new permanent jobs with an average salary over $93,000.”
Find more information here.
A meeting was held Wednesday in the parish of Saint-Jean-Baptiste. Anyone who missed the meeting can contact Exoduas or LDNR with their concerns and questions.