As an operation had just begun to move 940,000 barrels of flammable butane from one cavern to another Wednesday in the crippled Napoleonville Salt Dome where the historic Louisiana sinkhole disaster is, as officially permitted by state leaders, seismic activity went wild and the monster sinkhole gulped down more trees. Over five million people around the world have viewed a video captured of the event.
Sacrificing more of the prescious bayou culture’s environment, now a national sacrifice zone, the operation involved in moving butane from one cavern to another, the drilling, preceded the latest major incident at the sinkhole this week that heightened the emergency to a Code 3.
The incident also gave locals one thing they have begged to have for over a year: international recognition of human rights abuses they are enduring.
Latest Bayou Corne, Louisiana Sinkhole event makes international news, Over 5 million viewers watch monster suck down more of Assumption Parish
Assumption Parish Police Jury had just posted information of “continuing” “burps” happening in the sinkhole. “Burps” have been periodically reported, but not “continuing burps.”
Just after that began, the monster sinkhole sucked more trees down into its insatiable gut, all caught on a video (directly below) that is now going viral with over five million views at the time of this writing, thanks to Bayou Corne's peoples’ official, John Boudreaux with emergency preparedness.
Before It’s News covered the video story here.
Even mainstream news picked up the sinkhole tree tumbling video story.
NY Post covered it under the title, Terrifying Louisiana Sinkhole Swallows Up Entire Trees In Seconds.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution covered it
The Boston Herald covered it, with locally famous songwriter Mona Dugas’ song their story.
The state’s Advocate and the New Orleans Times-Picayune both covered it.
Since this ongoing burp began, seismic activity has remained extra heavy in the area and at least one helicorder, in the most active area beng monitored, was out of commission Thursday.
“It’s time to call in the Feds, the Corps, the EPA, OSHA,” said one outraged Bayou Corne resident, Mike Schaff, in an email sent to Dupre Friday. “It’s time to shut down production at this facility.
Code 3 alert pulls workers out of harm's way and off site - temporarily
The sinkhole disaster escalation this week heightened to a Code 3 Alert. That required temporarily pulling workers off the job there due to escalated instability and accompanying unprecendented explosion dangers.
This has more than one local even more outraged than they’ve been for over a year amid the covered-up disaster.
“We might want to ask the governor (Bobby Jindal) if he’s waiting for someone to get killed on the job site before he shuts down production and just leaves emergency personnel there to deal with this,” another Bayou Corne resident said in a separate email sent to Dupré.
“It’s time to remove it’s time to shut down production at this facility. It’s time to remove all personnel out of harm’s way, leaving only necessary emergency workers.”
Dallas-based Crosstex Energy LP began shifting flammable liquid butane from one underground storage cavern to another one in the crippled salt dome on Tuesday, moving it 1000 feet further from a large sinkhole in northern Assumption Parish, company officials said.
Residents have been fed up with Louisiana’s second major disaster and the state’s response for over a year. Now, Crosstex has 940,000 barrels of its flammable butane in one of its storage caverns in the salt dome, near the 24-acre, 750 feet deep, ever-expanding “sinkhole.” The butane move in the collapsing salt dome, rather than removing it and halting operations, is adding more than insult to injury, according to locals.
Meanwhile, Houston-based oil and gas service company Texas Brine LLC, takes the heat for the disaster, according to officials. It is also calling the shots regarding resolving the sinkhole destruction, according to locals.
As in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, that initially killed eleven men on that rig off Louisiana’s coast, wit BP placed in charge of cleaning up the mess, the failing sinkhole cavern operator blamed for the state-permitted cavern that is collapsing and causing further scandal, Texas Brine, has been placed in charge of Louisiana’s sinkhole disaster.
“It’s time to stop wasting money and time,” Schaff said “It’s time to take Texas Brine out of the driver’s seat and demote them from their lofty position as project manager to mere check signers.”
'Gov. Jindal, Workers are in Harm’s Way,' locals say
Despite some 300 local residents subjected to the life of energy refugees, the constant threat of methane and other gas explosions, and ongoing man-made quakes numbering in the thousands in the area, Crosstex has also been permitted by Louisiana’s Department of Natural Resources, and ultimately, Governor Bobby Jindal, to continue profitably piping its butane in and out of the troubled 1-mile by 3-mile salt dome.
The cavern where the butane is to be moved, called “Well #3,” is “2,500″ feet from the sinkhole, according to Crosstex spokesperson Jill McMillan, contradicting the “1000 feet” move explained by local parish officials.
The company’s second cavern can hold 1.7 million barrels and held propane earlier this year, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Advocate reported.
“We need Corp of engineers to shore up the levees and start filling the sinkhole with dredged sand, Wild Well Services to plug off the gas at the source, USGS to bring in their technology to map the aquifer’s topography, and last but not least, experts in separating water, methane and H2S gas from the aquifer,” Schaff told Rachel Wulff at WDSU radio station this week.
OVER A YEAR AGO, Residents’ reports to officials about earthquakes and methane bubbles percolating in the nearby bayous in May 2012, were seemingly dismissed.
On August 3, 2012, a 400 feet “sinkhole” was also reported. Governor Bobby Jindal then declared a state of emergency and mandatory evacuation, but stayed clear of the disaster, making only one appearance there to visit resident energy refugees since the disaster’s onset.
“It’s time to evacuate them, drain the two huge brine holding tanks on site to avoid another disaster, and call in the feds with their abundant resources,” Schaff said.
“ARE WE NUTS?’
In an email, Schaff wrote, “It’s over a damn YEAR… still no clue how to resolve????? STILL WAITING ON TEST RESULTS!!!!!???? Are we NUTS?”
Shifting massive amounts of materials in the vulnerable, crippled, volatile potentially explosive sinkhole area is testing fate.
For example, shifting sand, drilling, moving massive amounts of butane, shifts an equally massive amount of weight in an already failing environment.
There is still no test result showing the real origin of the oil spewing out of the sinkhole. It is not impossible for the entire disaster to have been triggered by BP’s 2010 Gulf catastrophe.
One geographer predicted that the BP Gulf disaster could trigger inland sinkholes.
Another geographer warned Louisiana state officials that Gulf seismic fault lines interconnect with inland fault lines, including from the Macondo Prospect in the Gulf to where the sinkhole is in South Louisiana.
Where are the sinkhole oil fingerprint results?
A more immediate question, that Schaff wants the media to ask Gov. Jindal, is “why non-essential (production) personnel are allowed to be in harm’s way” at the sinkhole.
That type of media exposure, however, would not benefit the petrochemical-industrial-complex nor those elected officials it has bought.
Sources: The Advocate, Louisiana Sinkhole Bugle, Assumption Parish, The Examiner
Human Rights news reporter Deborah Dupré is author of “Vampire of Macondo, Life, crimes and curses in south Louisiana that Powerful Forces Don’t want you to know,” packed with US mainstream media-censored stories about the BP-wrecked Macondo Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico that continues catastrophic human and environmental devastation. Dupre’s articles regularly appear in dozens of hard copy and online publications. Email info@DeborahDupre.com