Texas Brine LLC fingered as culprit of gas seepage near sinkhole
A press release issued Thursday by the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources says based on samples taken from the sinkhole, Bayou Corne, and near the failed Napoleonville Salt Dome indicate Texas Brine's failed cavern is the likely source of the natural gas and crude oil that has been seeping into the area's water supply.
"We have been driven by scientific data in all of our efforts to determine the cause of the natural gas found in the aquifer, the formation of the sinkhole, and the presence of crud oil found on the surface of the sinkhole," says Commissioner of Conservation James Welsh in a prepared statement.
“Establishing how natural gas reached the aquifer and what caused the formation of the sinkhole was an important step in the process, but the work is not yet done. We will continue to hold Texas Brine accountable and ensure that this work is completed as quickly as possible, in a manner that protects their safety and the environment."
According to DNR's press release:
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.
Texas Brine, according to Welsh's orders, must:
• Maintain stability of pressure in the failed cavern to prevent additional changes to the cavern or sinkhole due to pressure changes. • Install monitoring wells in the Bayou Corne community to monitor water quality and pressures, as well as elevation benchmarks within the community for subsidence monitoring. • Install pressure monitor at wellhead of the cavern re-entry well, designed to provide real-time data to parish emergency response agencies of any rapid pressure change. • Upgrade and expand seismic monitoring array to cover a wider area and include real-time data processing and interpretation of micro-seismic data, with seismic data reported in real-time to parish emergency response agencies. • Install continuous water level monitoring station at the sinkhole. • Collect and interpret geophysical data to determine the exact structure of the zone of failure and its impact on the surface and subsurface.
An effort also is under way, according to DNR, to increase the number of "observation/vent wells" in the area to aid in the removal of the natural gas that has seeped into the aquifer near Bayou Corne.
MAY 21 Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos writes about the Mother's Day shooting, and how the stages of shock and blame and healing mirror those traveled by the same city following Hurricane Katrina. The city will recover, just as it did following the storm, by reaching out to help the people injured most seriously by the event, DuBos writes. It's how we heal, he says.
MAY 21 Here's a post on the Advocate (but buried on a subpage, not on the front) that reports something Louisiana Voice reported some time ago: a top DOE official lives in Los Angeles and "commutes" to Baton Rouge. The positioning of the story caused a stir on Facebook Monday, with several posters asking if the Advocate was covering someone's hiney. Sentell's stories on DOE are notoriously soft, and this one is no different: don't expect any hard questions in here.
MAY 21 Here's another post from blogger Tom Aswell about the "course choice" program. He's already reported on kids being signed up without their consent or knowledge, and has more here: For example, he tells of a six-year-old who was signed up for high school Latin. He also digs a little deeper into the sister companies of the main one operating in Louisiana; all of them seem to have complaints against them. Stinky.
MAY 21 Given the 80 percent cut in higher ed funding since he's been in office, it's clear Gov. Jindal would rather give tax cuts to out of state companies than have a functioning system, blogger Dayne Sherman argues in this post. The cuts have been such a disaster, Sherman says, that it will take 30 years to fix what's been broken. He says he believes the aim is to shut down most of the schools before Jindal leaves in 2016.
MAY 21 Blogger CB Forgotston says there are too many elections in Louisiana, and they're costing us too much money. The proof is in the pudding: turnout for most of these nonsensical pollings gets worse and worse, CB opines, even as millions of dollars that could be spent on health care or higher ed go down the tubes. The legislature must take action to stem the tide of pointless elections, he says.
MAY 21 Here's an interesting investigative piece by WVUE on the retirement benefits of some Jefferson Parish public employees. According to the story, the taxpayers are paying 100 percent of the retirement contributions of employees who started work prior to a certain date in April 1986 -- and have done for more than 30 years. It costs the parish millions annually, and might not be legal, the story reports.
MAY 21 This post on Bayou Buzz provides insight from Louisiana's intrepid pollster, Bernie Pinsonat, on the winners and losers from this year's legislative session. But to hear Bernie tell it, there's almost nuttin but losers: Jindal, the Republican party, the Fiscal Hawks all get big goose eggs in his win column.
MAY 20 This post on The Lens takes a look at a huge (either $500K or $250K) bill that one NOLA charter now has for school lunches. The RSD says the charter group didn't fill out the proper paperwork for federal reimbursement, but the story details how the RSD didn't ensure the people running the charter had the proper training, despite requests from hapless charter employees trying to fill out forms. Either way, somebody's asleep at the wheel.
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.