BAYOU CORNE, LA — The Assumption Parish Pierre Part library was the meeting place of a support group of the residents of Bayou Corne. Some people from Save Lake Peigneur group and I were invited to the meeting by Bayou Corne resident Mike Schaff. Mike officiated the meeting.
There to help assist them was Ret. Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré.
The people in Bayou Corne are praying that General Honoré will be able to help. General Honore spoke of human rights, and how our country was set up. He stated that the most powerful thing people have is public notification. The people have the opportunity to tell the nation, state, that we have a problem; he stated that bad news does not get better with age. General Honoré stated that “We have an environmental and human disaster here”. “You have the right to be heard” he explained.
Mike Schaff asked Nara Crowley of Save Lake Peigneur to speak of their fight of 8 years to stop any more salt dome caverns being leached out for natural gas storage. She stated that there is already bubbling in the lake, the cause is not known. AGL Resources could put 20 more caverns under the lake, without approval once this permit is issued. The Chicot aquifer, aquifer for 15 parishes, has never recovered from the first salt dome leaching. AGL Resources has stated on their JISH web site, that they will use 5 million gallons a day to leach out 2 more caverns.
The Bayou Corne Blue Ribbon Committee member reported that there is H2S gas under some house slabs. He also stated that at one time Texas Brine wanted to stop monitoring. There is also natural gas in their aquifer. Some residents spoke of persons who are monitoring the air are riding down the street using equipment with their vehicle windows closed and thought they would not get a correct reading.
Emotions were high. There were people crying as they spoke of their problems, and I cried with them. One lady, whose husband has Parkinson’s, who evacuated needs to borrow money to get another house. Two mortgage companies denied her and another said Texas Brine would have to sign a letter stating that they are going to continue to pay her for 3 years. One may think that getting $875 a week is enough, but people still have to pay their mortgage on the home they are not living in, plus another place to live.
Some of the community is being divided by frustrations. Next month, August, it will be one year and the sinkhole continues to expand. People spoke of their insurance companies dropping them.
How long will Texas Brine Co LLC a Limited Liability Company (Non-Louisiana) continue to pay for destroying these people’s lives? Texas Brine’s three insurance companies have caps. The state of Louisiana has billed Texas Brine Co. which it blames for the massive sinkhole, $3.5 million dollars. Texas Brine is fighting these fines, a tally of state response efforts to the sinkhole from six different agencies. And now there are talks of closing Hwy 70. To see how close to the sinkhole, watch this video taken by a resident of Bayou Corne. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABqdY7SZm1U
What will the cost be to taxpayers to reroute Hwy 70? Already the parish is losing money. Texas Brine will not have the money to pay the state for a new highway.
You, the taxpayers of Louisiana, will pay for this disaster!
Texas Brine Co. is being sued by other companies for forcing the permanent closure of their gas pipelines.
Wilma Subra, Subra Company, was there to help these people to understand their exposure and health effects.
Texas Brine and the Department of Environmental Quality are monitoring levels of natural gas that is floating in the aquifer and other levels of gas. Wilma stated that there had been no readings since last Friday, and did not know what is going on. Wilma said that there times when the equipment had not been setup to monitor smelly odors.
The late Mel Leavitt’s, WDSU New Orleans, daughter, came from New Orleans to offer her help. She was much appreciated.
At the end of the meeting on the ride back to Iberia/Vermilion parish I thought how terrible these people have been treated. Our own Governor Jindal did not even to bother to visit Bayou Corne for 7 months. HB493 and HB494 have been passed, but it is too late to help Bayou Corne residents. Where is the EPA? Are the people who work for DNR, DEQ, EPA, just following their job duties? The laws that might protect people’s lives and property that live in these areas are written and passed by our senators and representatives. SB200 by Senator Mills to protect the lives and property of the people that live around Lake Peigneur was defeated by 2 votes in the Senate. All SB200 had was a 5 year moratorium for expansion, until studies could be done to find the cause of the bubbling and for an Environmental Impact Statement.
The Advocate reports on it with some shameful lies by Patrick Courreges at DNR –
LIES! LIES! LIES!
“. . . . Courreges said a variety of state and federal agencies are involved in the response, including EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy. He said they are working in a coordinated response and keeping people informed.
A community meeting, for example, is planned July 16 while websites are maintained with reports on the incident, legislative hearings have been held and the Office of Conservation has responded to more than 200 direct emails. . . . “
story – Honoré: Feds need to get more involved in sinkhole emergency
LINK – http://youtu.be/A5RqVz0ljcg
LINK – http://youtu.be/hJXy4Svc5gg
Some related PHOTOS by the videographer, Julie Dermansky. And a great article too.
short link – http://wp.me/p2GNDM-2SW