- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 30, 2014

ABITA SPRINGS, La. (AP) - A community meeting on a proposed oil and gas fracking well near Mandeville will be held Thursday in St. Tammany Parish.

NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/1rLHetb) Abita Springs Mayor Greg Lemons called the meeting, which will feature representatives of the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association and the state departments of Environmental Quality and Natural Resources.

Many have express concerns about a proposal by Helis Oil & Gas to drill a well 13,400 feet deep and then drill laterally using the hydraulic fracking method north of Interstate 12 and east of Louisiana 1088 near Mandeville. At an earlier public hearing, citizens voiced concern about pollution of the air, ground and an aquifer that supplies the parish’s drinking water.

The company has asked the Department of Natural Resources’ Office of Conservation to approve creation of a drilling and production unit covering 960 acres. All mineral rights owners in that area would be part of the unit. The company has not yet applied for a drilling permit. Helis has applied for a wetlands permit from the Army Corps of Engineers and a water quality permit from DEQ in connection with its drilling proposal.

Thursday’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Abita Springs Town Hall.

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Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com