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PRESS RELEASE

Governor Jindal Travels to Grand Isle to Meet with Local Leaders and Assess Oil Spill Protection Plans
Gov. Announces SBA Approval of Economic Injury Loans for Small Businesses Impacted by Oil Spill

BATON ROUGE (May 6, 2010) - Today, Governor Bobby Jindal traveled to Grand Isle to meet with Grand Isle Mayor David Carmardelle, Jefferson Parish Councilmen Chris Roberts and Tom Capella, Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph and other local officials to get an on-the-ground assessment of protection plans being implemented in Grand Isle and across Jefferson Parish. Governor Jindal emphasized the changing forecast for the oil slick to move west of the Mississippi River and the importance of having containment plans in place to mitigate the impact of the spill on Louisiana’s coast.

The Governor also announced today that the Small Business Administration (SBA) approved the state’s request to issue an economic injury disaster declaration for six parishes including, Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and St. Tammany.  The declaration also covers the contiguous parishes of Assumption, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne and Washington. Governor Jindal noted that these loans will help small businesses – including fishing businesses – which are affected by the oil spill.

Governor Jindal said, “According to the latest NOAA projections, the oil slick is expected to move west of the Mississippi River today and it’s critical that our coastal parish protection plans are in place as quickly as possible to mitigate the impact of the oil spill.  

“That’s why we’ve been working with local leaders to lean forward and push BP and the Coast Guard to approve and authorize containment plans for the coast. Jefferson Parish officials will begin staging resources today and tomorrow – and ultimately they are working to close off four passageways that will better protect their waterways and land. 

“Grand Isle is one of the most popular recreation areas in our state and its home to some of the best fishing in the world. The people of Grand Isle have suffered from a number of intense storms over the last five years and we must do everything we can to mitigate the impact of the oil on these shores.

“In addition to booming, we’re looking at a variety of techniques to contain the oil. That includes building tiger dams, hesco baskets as well as ‘boudin bags.’ Boudin bags are long sacks that can be filled with sand to lie along the beach area and contain the oil. In Grand Isle, boudin bags would be used to supplement a project that was recently completed to restore the beach levee. It’s critical that we continue to look for different ways to contain the oil and protect our coast.

“We’re also happy to announce that the SBA approved our request to issue an economic injury disaster declaration for six parishes that are currently impacted by the spill. We’re working on another request to SBA that will add parishes to this declaration. These loans will help small businesses, notably our fishermen whose livelihoods are at stake in this crisis. We will continue to do everything we can to help the people that are impacted by this oil spill.”

More information on the state’s response to the BP oil spill can be found on www.Emergency.Louisiana.Gov.

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