- Associated Press - Monday, July 20, 2015

COVINGTON, La. (AP) - St. Tammany Parish says it has told Helis Oil & Gas to stop work on an exploratory well for a proposed fracking project near Mandeville.

Spokesman Ronnie Simpson says it was done after an oral order Monday by state District Judge William Morvant in Baton Rouge.

Helis did not immediately respond Monday to phoned and emailed requests for comment.

Simpson says work at the site goes beyond the parish’s zoning designation and ordinances.

Many parish residents and some public officials say the drilling could pollute the air, the ground, and the aquifer that supplies St. Tammany with drinking water.

Helis has a state permit to drill a vertical well and is working to get a required wetlands permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.

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