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Landowner allows pipeline access, blames work for property flooding

1 month 2 weeks 14 hours ago Tuesday, April 02 2024 Apr 2, 2024 April 02, 2024 7:41 PM April 02, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

ZACHARY - A property owner living a few hundred feet away from the Comite Diversion Canal project says he's locked into a deal that's causing him to flood. After his concerns were ignored, he contacted 2 On Your Side.

When Jimmy Pigrenet bought his property on Old Baker Road 15 years ago, he says he had no idea what was coming. Several years ago he signed a deal giving a company permission to access his land to move a pipeline to make way for the Comite Diversion Canal.

"They just do what they want and don't worry about the landowners next to them," Pigrenet said.

The contracted company built a road to access the pipeline. It snakes through his property and alongside it.

"They put a dirt road and raised it, which puts me in a bowl now," he said.

Pigrenet says his property was once draining fine but now when it rains his land sits wet for days. He says the extra water prevents him from mowing his lawn and it is making his chickens sick.

"I can't use it all, it's totally useless to me," Pigrenet said.

In April 2023, the Pigrenet's entered into a Temporary Workspace Agreement with Shell to modify the current route of the Bengal 16" Pipeline as part of the Comite Diversion Canal Project.

Shell Pipeline met with Pigrenet about his concerns. Pigrenet says Shell has been able to put him in touch with the other company that is responsible for building the road on his land. Shell offered to built a swale around the new workspace and direct the water to the road-side drainage ditch. Pigrenet says that ditch is clogged.

Pigrenet says he feels frustrated and forgotten, caught up in all the progress happening around him. It's affecting his land, home, and chickens.

"It's going to flood," he said.

That work to redirect the water could start this month. Shell says it takes Pigrenet's concerns seriously and provided the following statement.

While we were able to clarify that these issues are largely unrelated to Shell operations there, we are sympathetic to Pigrenet's concerns. Shell takes pride in the communities in which we live and work and we will do our best to optimize the drainage as well as minimize the impact on the land's appearance in the areas of the property where we are carrying out our contracted work.

The City-Parish has also been contacted regarding Pigrenet's drainage ditch concerns.

In exchange for the land access, Pigrenet says his agreement includes an approximately $2,000 payment every five years, unrelated to any Shell Pipeline agreement or contract.

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