By Matthew Simone

After seven months of discussion and postponement, Caddo Parish Commissioners approved new regulations affecting oil and gas operations. These regulations involve three directives. First, loud operations within five hundred feet of hospitals, residences, religious, commercial, or public buildings in urban areas, may only take place Monday through Saturday between 8 A.M. and 5 P.M. Second, oil and gas operations may not use public water supplies unless permitted by state or parish approval. Last, lighting within three hundred feet of public roads or adjacent property may not shine directly on those sites. These regulations are scheduled to take affect on November 1, 2009. However, they will not affect wells that were in use prior to January 2008 in an effort to protect smaller companies which have been operating in the area before that time.

The new laws also mirror current state and Bossier City ordinances affecting the use of public roads and acceptable noise levels, but Caddo officials may re-visit these areas and increase the level of regulation at a later date. Caddo Parish Attorney Charles Grubb stated that the aim of the new ordinances is to “end up in the future with a more comprehensive system of permits and advanced notification.”

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