'I will say the odor was the heaviest and strongest I have ever experienced in all my time in Louisiana. Perhaps even worse still was that the odor was hovering directly over the community... I have no idea whatsoever how the workers can tolerate being anywhere near it.'
LEAN continues, "There is no doubt that the fumes from the sinkhole and bubbling natural gas in the surrounding area have been impacting the community. Local residents have documented this along with their potentially related health symptoms."
Bubbling site near pipeline in Bayou Corne. 09.16.12 by Assumption Parish Police Jury Photostream (used with permission)
LEAN has been conducting an odor and symptom data collection.(click here)
Description of odors include the smell of diesel, tar, gas and the smell of burning trees. LEAN notes that 84% of individuals reporting odors, experienced health impacts associated with the odor events, including headache, sore throat, nose irritation, burning and watery eyes, and fatigue.
Bayou Corne Sinkhole Sept. 27, 2012. by Assumption Parish Police Jury (used with permission)
On Oct 11, "Louisiana Commissioner of Conservation James Welsh ... ordered Texas Brine LLC to take action to assess and abate threats to public safety and the environment caused by the failure of its abandoned brine cavern on the west side of the Napoleonville Salt Dome, including the presence of natural gas in the area ground water aquifer," according to a press release from the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. "Welsh noted that, based on 'fingerprint' analysis and other data, the source of the crude oil and natural gas that have been observed at the surface in the Bayou Corne area appears to be one or more naturally occurring oil and natural gas formations, and that the preponderance of scientific evidence indicates that the failure of the sidewall of the Texas Brine cavern provided a pathway up to the aquifer and the surface for oil and natural gas that had previously been confined thousands of feet below." click here
Wilma Subra of the Subra Company lists these additional cave-ins in her article, Sampling Continues at Bayou Corne as Sinkhole Expands, (click here):
September 20, 2012: Approximately 25' of embankment on the east side fell into the sinkhole.
September 18, 2012: Texas Brine reported a slough-in of approximately 200' of embankment at the sinkhole.
September 17, 2012: Texas Brine reported a 20' x 20' growth of the sinkhole."
ADDED NOV 1, 2012:
This image of the cave-in on Oct 30 was made available on Oct. 31 by the Assumption Parish Police Jury. The red line has been thickened for readability.
Map of Oct. 30, 2012 cave-in (Map released on Oct 31) by Assumption Parish Police Jury (used with permission)
Wilma Subra, is a scientist and Pres. of the Subra Company, and past Vice-Chair of the Environmental Protection Agency National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT). Her company provides technical assistance to citizens concerned with environmental issues, by combining technical research and evaluation.
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