Community groups suing council over Entergy plant due in court

Community groups suing council over Entergy plant due in court
Updated: Jul. 19, 2018 at 6:02 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Several community groups are suing the New Orleans City Council.

Those groups claim they were kept out of key meetings before the approval of a controversial Entergy power plant.

The Sierra Club and Earth Justice will be in court Thursday at 10 a.m.

They claim that the City Council Utility Committee and the council as a whole violated Louisiana's constitution and open meetings law.

The groups say on Feb. 21,  the doors to the utility committee's meeting room were locked before the meeting even started.

Residents were allegedly denied entry by security guards and were unable to comment on Entergy's proposed plant in New Orleans East.

That is the same plant that Entergy was found to have paid actors to attend meetings and voice support for.

The lawsuit also claims at the council's March 8th meeting that Entergy officials were given preferential access to a side entrance, despite long lines forming at the main entrance from members of the public who were forced to stand outside of the meeting.

The lawsuit is seeking to void the approval of that Entergy power plant, which is something they didn't want to see built in the first place.

"We want the people to be able to have access in a democratic way to the process for vetting Entergy's project through the city council," said Janice Long with Energy Future New Orleans.  "That didn't happen in the March 8 meeting so we want that reversed. We need to have transparency and a true democratic process for the city to participate in."

The city council has launched an independent investigation into Entergy's use of paid actors in their meeting.

According to our partners | The Times-Picayune, the council argues, "any limitations on entering the meetings were about preventing overcrowding and maintaining order."

They also added that no one was excluded based on whether they supported or opposed the plant.

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