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Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

MT. HERMON, La. -- There's a sprawling property on Hwy. 1056 buzzing with activity. Documents recently filed with the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources indicate the work is in preparation for a fracking site.

While land in the area has been leased by oil companies in the past, this kind of development appears to be the first actual movement of a potential drilling project in the parish. So far, it's only being met with welcomes.

'I don't think it's a bad thing, as far as good thing we'll have to see how things play out,' said John Creel.

Earl Spears said, 'Let it come, let it hit. That's what I say. Let the oil gush.'

Those residents have land leased, some for years, some since just last week. But the attitude seems the same among many, including those who will be calling the possible drilling rig a neighbor.

'Done my own personal research on it and found based on the track record that they have that there is no viable safety concern for the residents in this area,'Justin Brown said.

Washington Parish leaders share the sentiments of their constituents, that fracking is a good thing, which is completely different from the mindset of most leaders to the south in St. Tammany. There, concerns over damage to the environment, particularly the area's sole source of drinking water, has been proclaimed through protests, signs and big crowds at public meetings. A lawsuit has also been filed by the parish to stop the permitting process.

But leaders in Washington Parish say they've done their homework.

'We've checked with DeSoto Parish and some of the other parishes in the last few years and we've been trying to get prepared for this,' said Washington Parish President Richard Thomas.

And the parish says it's ready for the fracking industry to move in. The company applying for the project, which is actually a request to expand an existing unit to include the new land in Washington, is Goodrich Petroleum out of Houston. It has several units and permits in Tangipahoa Parish, and a unit partially in Washington, as well as a unit in Franklinton.

The unit for Mt. Hermon is pending before the state Department of Natural Resources. The company has no applications for permits to drill filed at this time.

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