Dome doomed...Government scratches Richton salt dome project - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Dome doomed...Government scratches Richton salt dome project

RICHTON, MS (WDAM)-The Federal Government has terminated its plan to possibly use the Richton salt domes as part of the nation's strategic petroleum reserve.

The department of energy removed the salt dome storage project from its budget earlier this year, and now it says it has stopped preparing an environmental impact statement on the project, effectively terminating the proposed billion dollar underground storage facility in Perry County.

The plan was to hollow out the domes to store 160 million barrels or oil but to do so, nearly 50 million gallons of water would have to be taken out of the Pascagoula river daily for five years...and environmentalists strongly opposed the idea saying it would severely damage south Mississippi's ecological system.

This is the second time the government has looked at the Richton salt domes as a potential storage site. In the '70s and '80s, Richton was under consideration as a nuclear waste repository site but the government later scrapped that idea altogether.

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