Monday, 03 December 2012 10:24
by The Associated Press
Company fined over sinkhole says it’s trying
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Owners of a failed brine storage cavern are doing their best to comply with a state order to quickly resolve problems created by an eight-acre sinkhole in Assumption Parish, spokesman Sonny Cranch said Sunday.
He said Texas Brine Co. lawyers will review a $100,000 fine imposed Saturday by state Conservation Commissioner James Welsh, who said the company hasn’t complied with his Nov. 12 order to speed work.
“We are working as fast as we can to comply with the order,” Cranch said in a phone interview.
The sinkhole began to develop after a Texas Brine salt cavern failed in August. Texas Brine and other companies own at least five other caverns in the Napoleon Salt Dome, which is about three miles long and a mile wide. None of the other caverns is threatened, Cranch said.
Welsh said the company is too slow in three areas: installing air monitors and improved ventilation in slab homes around the sinkhole; installing a system to prevent more waterway contamination; and drilling new vent wells to burn off natural gas.
Residents of 150 Bayou Corne-area homes evacuated in August, after the sinkhole formed. Natural gas was later found in the underground water supply, which Cranch said has never been used for drinking water.
It has grown from less than one acre to eight acres.
It has also become much shallower, from 490 to 195 feet at the deepest, Cranch said.
He said Texas Brine has been using containment boom and absorbent boom from the start, and has skimmed 2,700 barrels of oily water from the surface in the three months since debris was cleared from the edges of the sinkhole.
Cranch said figuring out how to permanently block the sinkhole from other waterways is complex in a swamp, especially since officials don’t yet know how big the sinkhole will get. In the meantime, crews move the boom constantly and skimming continues to make sure oil doesn’t get into any waterways, he said.
“It is being controlled,” Cranch said.
He said the company is also working to find ventilation equipment and air monitors that can be watched at another site, contractors qualified to install them correctly, and landowners’ permission to dig vent wells.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
APR 22 Louisiana politics is entertainment, nothing more than a comedy routine that writes itself, blogger Dayne Sherman says. But while we're chuckling at the wizard between the sheets and the kissing congressman, our higher ed system is collapsing, and nobody's doing anything about it, he says.
APR 23 WalletHub has done a study to determine each state's Return on Investment for its taxpayers. Guess who's bringing up the rear? That's right -- if it weren't for Mississippi and Arkansas we'd be dead last.
APR 23 Blogger Tom Aswell has good news for parents who don't want the private information of their offspring sold/provided to corporations: inBloom is shutting down. He's certainly right when he claims the lion's share of the credit for bloggers -- most of the mainstream media, certainly here in Louisiana, didn't do stories on our DOE's agreement with this corporation until months after the bloggers had started reporting on it.
APR 23 Look out! The Buzz Feed blog has busted Senate candidate Bill Cassidy in this post. Cassidy, a physician who is campaigning on how horrible it would be for people to have health insurance, once campaigned on a plan that sounds suspiciously like (you guessed it) Obamacare. Woops!
APR 23 Here's a post from Jeremy Alford on Gambit about the holes in Bobby Jindal's budget. (Hint: they're BIG.) The only puzzling thing in this post is Alford's (apparent) assumption that nobody in the Jindal administration knew they were there. Uh, really?
APR 23 Salon takes a look at the Republicans who take the Koch brothers seriously (including our own Gov. Jindal) and have so far refused federal funding for Medicaid expansion. Joan Walsh has pulled together a lot of analysis pieces, so it's a good read.
APR 23 Blogger Mike Deshotels has had a lot of negative things to say about some of the education-related bills under consideration in the current session, but here's a list of the ones he has something good to say about. He's got links to the actual bills, as well as contact info for committee members.
APR 23 Mark Moseley performs a post-mortem on the Audubon Nature Institute's millage, which failed by a 30 percent margin recently. It's more than just anti-tax sentiment, Mark opines: there's something else going on in NOLA.
APR 22 If you're a Walking Dead fan, you might want to check out this story on DIG Baton Rouge about the program's tour, headed for Baton Rouge and NOLA next month. You can be a spectator, a survivor or a walker -- and the walkers get professional make-up. The course is about a mile long and takes about 45 minutes to complete. And if you're wondering (or worrying or maybe hoping, ick) biting is not allowed.
APR 22 Republicans - and in particular Republicans who might be running for something in a couple years - are flocking to the Common Core issue, the New York Times reports here. But they're not supporting the federal educational curriculum; they're flocking because they feel it will be a good issue to run on, the story tells us. Don't worry, they mentioned Bobby.