The head of the Southern Environmental Law Center says the U.S. Department of Energy is paying $10.3 million in grants to help an oil pipeline company construct a water pipe to carry wastewater from the Gulf Coast to a wastewater treatment plant in Louisiana.
The project will create about 2,000 construction jobs, said David McEwen, executive director of the nonprofit.
It also will help reduce the need for more toxic, heavy-duty pipes that are already in use in many states.
The $10,000 in grants will go toward the $7.6 million pipeline project, which is one of two pipeline projects that would carry waste water from the gulf coast to a treatment plant.
The other pipeline project is in Mississippi.
The $7,000 is part of $21 million the department announced Monday to help build infrastructure to expand its recovery efforts for the spill.
McEwen said the grants are an important way for the department to help other companies who have been struggling with environmental and economic challenges in the Gulf.
“The grants will help these companies recover money from taxpayers and help build an infrastructure that will help ensure that future oil spills are treated as disasters rather than disasters of the moment,” he said.
The other project is a $5.6 billion pipeline that is expected to be completed by late 2019.
McEnaney said he is hopeful that the grants will give the pipeline company a chance to build a pipeline that will carry wastewater back to the Gulf to help clean up the spill and to provide a temporary water source for those who live downstream of the spill, including residents of the cities of New Orleans and St. Charles.
The water pipeline project also has been a source of controversy, particularly because it has been proposed without an environmental impact statement.
McEsland, the head of a local environmental group, was one of several residents who testified before Congress on the project in October.
He said the pipeline would be a “massive project” that would take the pipeline network from Louisiana to Alabama, Mississippi and Texas.
McElroy, the governor, has said the company would need a permit from the federal government to complete the project.
He also said the permit would allow the pipeline to be built in the U:$2.3 billion project has been announced to help with cleanup and reconstruction efforts.
The pipeline is expected bring jobs to the area, but McEwing said the $10-million grant is a critical step toward the construction of a pipeline to carry the wastewater to the treatment plant to help treat the oil that spilled.
McErland, a Republican, said the grant was important because it will help the company avoid the need to seek federal approval for any additional pipeline construction in the future.