So, during the time that various companies and agencies have been putting forth what they characterize as concerted efforts toward containment, the sinkhole has multiplied over 4 times in size.
In addition, according to the examiner.com, "Stanley Waligora, a New Mexico-based radiation protection consultant and leading authority on health risks of NORM confirmed that radium levels at Bayou Corne's sinkhole are not within safe limits, but instead, roughly 15 times higher than the state's acceptable level."
Other radioactive testing found higher-than-acceptable levels, also, but the examiner noted that "raising the acceptable limit of poisonous materials so that they can be reported as 'safe' is a standard operating procedure in protection agencies."
According to the advocate.com, "one of the scientists' worst-case fears is that the salt dome could continue to break up from its western edge and threaten other underground caverns."
In fact, referring to the disaster area as a "sinkhole" even seems to downplay the possibility that a greater collapse of the area is possible.
As a Louisiana resident for a decade, I remembered that most of the trees stayed green through the winters. I didn't remember them getting that crunchy, brown, barren look that the trees where I grew up in the New England area had - and which I also noticed in the photos of the trees around the sinkhole.
When I asked Ms. Subra about the condition of the vegetation, she said, "The water in the sink hole and the area surrounding the sink hole is elevated in chloride content - it is salty. That causes negative impacts on vegetation. Texas Brine has been ordered to construct containment barriers to prevent the brine, salty water from impacting the surrounding swamp."
Bayou Corne Sinkhole, Dec. 7, 2012 by Assumption Parish Police Jury, used with permission
John Achee, a longtime Assumption Parish resident who is now working closely with diverse groups and committees involved in this situation notes that Governor Jindal has not visited the site nor held a press conference regarding this disaster, although the governor has done both for other disasters in his state.
Achee shared this message which he sent to the governor (shown here, verbatim):
Dear Governor Jindal:
Sir, it is time for you to show your face in Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou. Let the residents of this disaster know what you are doing for them in this crisis. Also, we need you to call the president and request a Federal State of Emergency as per the Stafford Act. This sinkhole is to large to bury sir and all consultants are "stumped." Texas Brine continues to make a mockery of the state you run sir. Time to bring the best and brightest minds and to protect the health and welfare of our residents and our environment.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal by Flicker photographer dsb nola VIA WIKI
Governor you need to act and you need to act now, this sitution is out of control and cannot be handled by the state agencies that are in charge and it is becoming more dangerous by the minute to the immediate safety of the residents in the area, now is not the time for political maneuvering, for once it would be nice to see a politician completely set politics aside and truly do what is in the best interest of the people who elected you, Governor the safety of the residents of this area ultimately falls on your shoulders, if you continue to ignore this disaster and not act, if someone gets hurt or worse, i hope you have broad shoulders sir, we need you to act immediately,
John Achee Jr
On Jan. 18, 2013, Marylee Orr, Director of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) and Wilma Subra, President of the Subra Co. and Technical Advisor to LEAN, sent a letter with their concerns to Ted Grabowski, President of Texas Brine Co., and Stephen Chazen, President and CEO of Occidental Chemical Corp., which leases the land to Texas Brine.