South Mississippians Get Info On Salt Dome Plans

Wednesday night "The Sierra Club" held an informational session about plans for a national depository in the Richton salt dome and how it might affect gulf coast waterways. However, not everyone is thrilled with the plans.

Some major bodies of water in South Mississippi may soon be different if the Department of Energy has its way.

That's why Jeff Grimes with The Gulf Restoration Network says he feels the need to inform South Mississippians about what may happen in their communities.

"They want to take a lot of water out of the Pascagoula and dissolve salt out of the domes, they then pump the salt water into the Mississippi Sound where it is dumped into the ocean," Grimes said.

The DOE believes the depository will help lesson the nation's dependency on foreign oil. However, Grimesbelieves the plans will hurt South Mississippi's ecosystem.

"You're going to be putting salty water that eight to 10 times as salty as the ocean water into the Mississippi Sound and a lot of the fish aren't going to be able to live there," Grimes said.

Some residents feel The Gulf of Mexico is the only option and they think that other bodies of water throughout the nation should also be considered.

There are other depositories across the coast including Texas and Louisiana. But that's not making these residents feel any better about the project. They say they haven't heard from the DOE and feel as though they should have a say in what happens in their neighborhood.

The plans are in the beginning stages, however The Department of Energy hopes to start on the salt dome project by January of 2009.