The U.S. Department of Energy begins a series of hearings this week into the government’s proposal to use water from the Pascagoula River to clear out salt domes in Perry County for storage of the nation’s oil reserves.
The first public hearing is today at 6 p.m. in New Augusta at the Perry Central High School gymnasium.
A hearing is scheduled Tuesday at Greene County High School in Leakesville. Another hearing is scheduled Wednesday at the George County Civic Center in Lucedale and on Thursday at the B.E. “Mac” McGinty Civic Center in Pascagoula. All three hearings begin at 2 p.m.
The DOE has proposed drawing about 50 million gallons of fresh water per day for five years from the Pascagoula River to hollow out the salt dome in Richton, where oil would then be stored as part of the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The project is estimated to cost more than $3 billion.