Helis Oil and Gas Company, the company with plans to drill a well near Mandeville, Louisiana, which would use the hydraulic fracturing method for the first time in St. Tammany Parish, has announced it will drill a conventional vertical well first before proceeding with hydraulic fracturing. Only if commercially viable quantities of oil are present would Helis proceed with fracking.
Despite this announcement, a group opposed to the drilling sent cease and desist letters, and has filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans in Case No. 2:14-cv-01118-CJB-KWR, seeking to invalidate Helis’ permit and stop the drilling. On May 16, 2014, Concerned Citizens of St. Tammany filed suit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, two of its top officers, and the Secretary of the Army, seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the Army Corps of Engineers and the other defendants for the permitting process for issuing a permit to Helis. The group claims that the Army Corps of Engineers failed to allow for a sufficient comment period and failed to provide critical information to the public before issuing the permit to Helis for hydraulic fracturing. The lawsuit claims that the Corps’ actions are in violation of the Clean Water Act and the Administrative Procedures Act.
Concerned Citizens of St. Tammany is represented by attorney Marianne Cufone. For further information, contact Toni Ellington at 504-599-8500.