More than 2,200 fracking wells have been drilled in Louisiana’s 11,000-feet-deep Haynesville Shale, posing significant contamination risk to surrounding populations. Oil and gas companies are drawn to the state for the generous tax breaks doled out to horizontal drilling operations.
On October 20, 2011, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources adopted new rules for the oil and gas industry that require an operator to obtain a work permit before engaging in hydraulic fracturing.
The new rules also require operators to publicly disclose the content of the fluids they use in the fracking process—although it allows for exemptions of chemicals deemed “trade secrets,” a controversial clause that allows companies to keep toxic fracking chemicals secret.
Did You Know?
In April 2015, a Louisiana state judge ruled that St. Tammany Parish, a town located on the northern shore of Lake Pontchartrain, cannot use its zoning regulations to block a proposed oil drilling and fracking project within parish borders. The town voted to ban fracking in 2014. It appealed the decision, posting a "cease and desist" notice at the fracking site in July 2015. The case eventually made its way up to the Louisiana Supreme Court, and in June 2016, the state Supreme Court voted 4–3 to not hear an appeal from a lower court. The decision left standing the district court ruling that held that, in regards to the state's regulation of oil and gas activity, state law preempts parish zoning ordinances.
Last Updated: October 14, 2016
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High profile incidents ("fraccidents") related to the country's oil and gas drilling boom have occurred in and around Louisiana. Click on each fraccident to learn more: