DNR Office of Conservation orders immediate relief well and continuous updates from companies
Today, the Commissioner of Conservation amended the Emergency Declaration dated August 3, issued to Texas Brine Company LLC regarding its salt cavern, requiring these immediate actions:
o Expeditiously drill a well to investigate the salt cavern and to further evaluate potential causes of the subsidence near its well site
o Obtain samples of any cavern content
o Provide daily reports on the progress of the activity
Commissioner Welsh said, “Texas Brine has been ordered to implement these steps as soon as possible and move full-steam ahead. There will also be continual communication with the public on their actions.” Welsh said all information flowing to the department will be posted to keep the public completely informed.
Initial Readings from monitoring equipment indicated there were no detectable levels for naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) on the surface of a slurry hole in Assumption Parish. Scientists from the Department of Environmental Quality began executing a sampling plan today.
The Office of Conservation is also working in coordination with DEQ to obtain representative groundwater samples collected from water wells located in the Bayou Corne area screened in the Mississippi River Alluvial aquifer. Sample analyses will provide quantified values for determining the presence of saltwater at each well location and will be used to indicate relative presence of dissolved natural gas compounds in the ground water at each well location. It is expected that this information will provide insight into the extent of natural gas present in the Mississippi River Alluvial aquifer underlying the area surrounding the slurry hole and near Bayou Corne natural gas seeps.
Conservation is also currently working with DEQ officials on an air and water sampling plan to determine if there are any levels of naturally occurring NORM material that would cause concern.
DEQ will commence sampling the aquifer tomorrow and will release any new information as it is obtained.
Commissioner Welsh will also be receiving Daily Incident Action Plans from all cavern and pipeline operators and these will be made available on the DNR web site.
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