After Bayou Corne's 30-acre sinkhole sucked down more of south Louisiana's treasured environment, and a large portion of a well pad Wednesday, officials worry people might be next. Texas Brine Co. was releasing methane gas pressure from its failed cavern in Napoleonville Salt Dome in Assumption Parish when the latest event occurred.
The official parish video of part of the latest event (above) shows an estimated 40-foot by 10-foot section of the well pad slowly sink beneath the sinkhole’s surface around 2:35 p.m.
The sinkhole edge collapsed again, called a slough-in, as it has been doing since the sinkhole was only 400 by 400 metres in August 2012 when first spotted, a human rights issue yet to be addressed as such.
This new event came only five days after the last slough-in, that pulled six giant cypress trees down into the seemingly bottomless pit. Texas Brine was releasing methane gas pressure from the cavern around the same time then, too.
State regulators say they are trying to determine to what extent reducing methane pressure inside the cavern is linked to the recent slough-ins.
State and Texas Brine officials are trying to reduce cavern pressure in measured amounts and watch for any consequences, according to Patrick Courreges, spokesman for the state Department of Natural Resources.
“Any sudden, sharp change in condition that might have the potential to release additional gas/crude oil, or alter the sinkhole growth trend in some way that would pose a greater threat to the public or to Bayou Corne itself must be prevented,” Courreges told a resident in an email Monday.
John Boudreaux, director of the parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness shot the video. He said he continued seeing small bits of the well pad — once used by the company to work on the well — being eaten away by the sinkhole.
“Every now and then, I see a piece fall in,” he said.
Scientists think Texas Brine LLC.'s cavern, carved with fresh water from a large underground deposit of salt, collapsed in its supporting side wall.
Rock surrounding that deposit flowed inside the cavern. The shifting rock underground resulted in the sinkhole in August 2012, along with thousands of earthquakes and methane gas leaks that number of 100 now.
Louisiana officials permitted the company's cavern to be developed too close to the 1-mile by 3-mile Napoleonville Salt Dome. State officials also permitted the dome to be developed, despite that specific area being home to Louisiana's most devastating earthquake.
Now, the entire side of the salt dome is collapsing - under Grand Bayou and Bayou corne communities. It is spurting up methane gas in over 100 areas and daily threatening an methane gas explosion.
Such disasters in Louisiana are business as usual where its Governor Bobby Jindal has reaped $1 million in oil lobby money.
There is no other reason why Bobby Jindal refuses to make the oil industry pay for all that it has destroyed in the state.
“There’s no other explanation other than the fact he has received over $1 million in contributions,” Anne Rolfes, director of Louisiana Bucket Brigade (LABB) has said.
The governor's and state legislators' unashamed profit over people drive has created a national sacrifice zone out of the area, that's been under a mandatory evacuation for over 18 months.