DEQ hosting air quality meeting in Reserve

Published 12:06 am Saturday, July 2, 2016

RESERVE — To inform St. John the Baptist Parish residents about air quality around a local plant, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality will be hosting a public meeting Thursday.

Greg Langley, press secretary for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, said the state agency’s purpose is to monitor the health of the environment and regulates industries emissions that they produce into the air and water.

The meeting will run from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Our Lady of Grace School gymnasium, 780 Louisiana 44 in Reserve.

“The meeting (Thursday) is an informational meeting,” Langley said. “The (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) will be there.

“They want to tell the public about some air quality topics around the Denka Performance Elastomer Plant (in LaPlace).”

Along with EPA representatives, Langley said there would be representatives from LDEQ, Denka and the parish.

“The air around the plant is breathable, but there are some topics or things we want to discus at the meeting,” Langley said. “The topics resulted from modeling that the EPA has done. We want to look at it and explain it.”

There was no event that triggered the modeling or the meeting, Langley said, adding there are a few things the agency wanted to share with the public.

“Residents shouldn’t be worried,” he said. “That’s why we are having the public meeting. We want to discuss the findings.”

Langley did not want to go into specific detail when speaking with a reporter this week as to what the findings are, adding he wants residents to get the whole story at the meeting.

“We encourage residents to come to the meetings so they can get the information first hand,” he said. “They will be given green cards, where they can write questions and submit them.”

Towards the end of the meeting a few of the cards will be read aloud for the question and answer period.

“The moderator will read the questions and different people at the front, people from the EPA, LDEQ and from the plant, will answer the questions,” Langley said. “The cards will be handed to residents as soon as they walk in the door.”

Langley said residents who attend the meeting will be provided contact information and resources where they can get more information later on.