Jim Welsh was born and raised in Laurel, Mississippi. He received his B.S. degree in Geology from LSU in June, 1960. After graduation, he worked in Laurel for five years as a geologist for an independent oil company and as a well-testing engineer for a core analysis company.
In 1965, Welsh returned to Louisiana as a geologist with the Louisiana Geological Survey, Department of Conservation. His main areas of work expertise were in economic geology, subsurface geology, oil and gas unitization, and salt water disposal.
Welsh became involved with the initiation of the Office of Conservation's new lignite surface mining regulatory program in the late 1970's, and in 1980 he was named Chief of Surface Mining. In 1983, he was named Director of the newly formed Injection and Mining Division, which was responsible for Conservation's environmental programs dealing with salt water disposal wells, hazardous waste injection wells, E&P waste disposal, salt dome cavern storage, and surface mining of coal and lignite.
In 1996, Welsh was named Assistant Commissioner of Conservation, and was the chief administrative assistant to the Commissioner of Conservation in matters dealing with the budget, legislature, personnel, technical and policy matters, as well as coordination of activities of the several Divisions within the Office.
In June of 2001, Welsh retired from State service with over 36 years of service. Effective July 1, 2002, Welsh was given the distinct and high honor of returning to the Office of Conservation as Commissioner of Conservation in the Department of Natural Resources.
Jim Welsh has served as the Governor's representative on the Interstate Mining Compact Commission, the Governor's alternate on the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission, he was an active member of the Ground Water Practices Council, he was a chief developer of many environmental portions of Louisiana's Statewide Order No. 29-B, he served as a technical expert on USEPA'S regulation negotiation team to develop the national rules for underground injection of hazardous waste, he served on DEQ's NORM Advisory Committee, and participated in drafting Louisiana's comprehensive ground water management plan.
Jim Welsh is married and lives with his wife, Roni, in St. Francisville, Louisiana.
What difference has a decade made?
Due to severe flooding in Baton Rouge and the surrounding communities, the recording of “Black & The Blue,” which was to be the August episode of Louisiana Public Square, was cancelled. Instead we will be broadcasting an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference.” More information, including broadcast dates and times, is below.
“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference”
Eleven years ago, Hurricane Katrina swept through Southeast Louisiana, triggering what would become the nation’s costliest disaster. Less than a month later, Hurricane Rita inundated Southwest Louisiana forever altering the landscape. The storms uprooted residents, while the rest of Louisiana and its neighboring states welcomed them with open arms.
What affect did the storms have on economic development along the I-10 corridor? Just over a decade later, how have public services changed? How prepared is Louisiana to handle hurricane evacuees? And how did the hurricanes change the demographics of the state?
This month Louisiana Public Square takes a look at where the state is now on an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” airing Wednesday, August 17 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, August 21 at 11 a.m. on LPB HD.
The panelists are:
· Andy Kopplin, Office of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu
· Paul Rainwater, Rainwater Consulting, LLC
· Stephanie Riegel, Greater Baton Rouge Business Report
· Nihal Shrinath, The Data Center
The program includes interviews with Jason El Koubi, One Acadiana; Chris Guilbeaux, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP); Kathy Kliebert, Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals; Allison Plyer, Executive Director of the Data Center; John White, State Superintendent of Education; and Christopher Bohnstengel and “Byrdie” Lane, owners of Byrdie’s Gallery and Café in New Orleans.
LPB CEO, Beth Courtney, and Kim Hunter Reed,Ph.D., who served in the Blanco administration during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, moderate the discussion.
“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” will also air in New Orleans, on WLAE. It can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.
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