Report Back from the BIG MEETING July 3 with Ret. Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré – DNR Responds

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

Lake General Honore uniform

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.

PHOTOS:

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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. About Lake Peigneur

short link –  http://wp.me/p2GNDM-2SW

A Plea for SB200 by Mike Schaff

To all:

After reading  Mr. David Mitchell’s article in The Advocate on May 9, it outrages me as it should ALL OF YOU to learn from the dome operators on the salt domes throughout the state that the guidelines previously existing for the distance to mine caverns from the edge of domes was determined by “rule of thumb”.

Even though this will later be changed to 300’ minimum, what else don’t we know about mining and storage regulations as they are now written?  Also, Even with the latest 3-D technology, as we were advised in our latest town hall meeting by the Texas Brine vice president himself, these surveys are only accurate to plus or minus 75 feet! When the failed cavern was mined originally, it was thought that there was 600 feet between the edgeof the salt and the cavern. This was discovered to be painfully incorrect and we are faced with its terrible consequences.

Is it just me or does anyone in our legislature think that it may be very wise and prudent to suspend any further mining and ESPECIALLY storage of hydrocarbons inside of the salt domes until this travesty regarding LDNR rules can be investigated further and strengthened to ensure this never happens again?

I’ve stated before to anyone who cared to listen that the rules for above ground storage consists of volumes of calculations, rules, verifications, testing, inspections, fabrication methods and techniques, qualification requirements for welding as well as for welders, material properties, material stresses, wind effect calculations, etc., etc., etc. These rules and regulations are located in the manuals of ASME Section VIII as well as in various API specifications. No fabrication shop can sell even the tiniest pressure vessel to these very same companies who use the multi-million gallon caverns for storage without following these specifications to the tee. AGL, Texas Brine, Dow Chemical, CrossTex, Chevron and all the rest expect and demand (as they well should) that we certify and insure these vessels to the appropriate specifications. Yet we in the state of Louisiana allow these very same companies to operate ONE HUNDRED MILLION GALLON highly pressurized vessels by “RULE OF THUMB”. For heaven’s sake, these caverns are larger than the combined volume of what the twin towers in New York once were.

Excuse my outrage.

I hope that each and every one of you share my incredulousness.

Please help us to straighten out this mess. Let’s get some scientific reassurance that what is stored beneath our communities will remain there as intended. Let’s not have another Grand Bayou, Louisiana incident as we had on Christmas Eve 2003. Let’s not have another Hutchinson, Kansas disaster which claimed several lives. Let us join together and tell lobbyist Marjorie McKeithen and her colleagues that enough is enough. When arguing for the defeat of Senator Mills’ SB200 she stated in front of the Senate Natural Resources Committee that there was never a failure of a storage cavern facility and that the Bayou Corne accident had nothing to do with “storage caverns”, just tell her THANK the Good Lord that it was NOT a storage cavern… but that right next door in Grand Bayou, it was a storage cavern that caused the evacuation and eventual relocation of the entire town. It was a storage cavern in Hutchinson Kansas where lives were lost. It was a storage cavern where exactly 20 years ago this week in Brenham, Texas where a police officer found the lifeless body of a blue-eyed, blonde-haired 5-year-old boy named Derrick Meinen and two of his neighbors after a storage cavern explosion there. The scene was that of a town ripped to shreds by a vicious tornado, but the truly disgusting aspect is that these loss of lives were caused by man’s lackadaisical attitude to safety and knowledge of the geological stresses and factors when utilizing this type of storage.

Read about the grief and devastation here on the Brenham Texas incident:
http://www.theeagle.com/blogs/fajitas_for_one/article_cab6128c-019b-11e2-8e7e-0019bb2963f4.html

And here on the Hutchinson, Kansas tragedy:
http://www.hutchnews.com/Todaystop/Sun–explosions-reflection–1

I’m angry… as you should be too. It’s time to call a moratorium on these storage caverns until these regulations can be strengthened so there is no doubt that the citizens of this state will be safe and our aquifers protected.

Vote FOR SB200 when it comes up for reconsideration. Vote FOR SB214 when it is introduced. It is your profound duty to the residents who depend on the Chicot Aquifer for their sole source of drinking water and the safety of all residents who live next to salt domes in our state.

Mike Schaff

Dumbfounded resident of Bayou Corne

Displaced Residents Fed Up + Sunday News

Buyout delays have Bayou Corne residents outraged

BAYOU CORNE,LA (NBC33) — People living in Bayou Corne have had enough of waiting to be bought out. They say Texas Brine is wasting time and not giving any one an offer.

“Texas Brine playing a game of we’ll frustrate you. We will promise you things. We’ll disappoint you,” Nick Romero, Bayou Corne resident, described.

Texas Brine crews have appraised homes in the area, but so far no one has received a buyout offer. . . .

http://www.nbc33tv.com/news/your-stories/buyout-delays-have-bayou

Thanks to Freedomrox for this tip – 😉

Lake Peigneur controversy seeks resolution

SB200 Lobby Squad:

A big vote Monday at the state senate to reconsider sb200. Let them know how you feel! Contact info is on the LEAN legislative preview page. It has a button link on the sidebar too.

Lots of seismic monitor activity.  LA14 going off full blast since midnight. Are they drilling, driving work trucks etc. at 3 and 4 a.m. there? Maybe a pump or machine doing the geo-phone installation. Cave-in and crumbling below usually looks more sporadic.

This weekly SONRIS report (well info from DNR) says (p. 4) a lot going on at Lake Verret and Gulf South is busy in Assumption Parish… and they are not putting in geo-phones.

New Madrid Fault Zone

  • 2.1 quake Damascus, Arkansas < MAP  < ~30 mi. from  rad_Y_tiny Arkansas One Nuclear Power Plant
  • 1.5 quake Dell, Arkansas < MAP
  • 1.9 quake Sale Creek, Tennessee < MAP  < next to 2 nuke plantsrad_Y_tiny  Watts Bar & Sequoyah

Save The Water Articles on Lake Peigneur and Bayou Corne

Water crisis news – USA – New Orleans – Lake Peigneur – Citizen group sues to hold LDNR accountable – Video – Sheriff Ackal says Lake Peigneur could be worse than Assumption sinkhole.
http://savethewater.org/2013/04/water-crisis-news-usa-new-orleans-lake-peigneur-citizen-group-sues-to-hold-ldnr-accountable-sheriff-ackal-says-lake-peigneur-could-be-worse-than-assumption-sinkhole/

Water Crisis – Largest man-made vortex – Lake Peigneur update – Special report – history – facts – video – Lake Peigneur gets snubbed by Senate – Acadiana residents fear potential sinkhole ‘disaster’. About Lake Peigneur
http://savethewater.org/2013/05/lake-peigneur-update-special-water-education-report-largest-man-made-vortex-history-facts-videos-lake-peigneur-gets-snubbed-by-senate-acadiana-residents-fear-potential-sinkhole/

USA water crisis: Louisiana – Bayou Corne – Grand Bayou sinkhole begins – can it end – will Lake Peigneur repeat history? – Special water education edition part 1 of 3 – timeline – history – videos.
http://savethewater.org/2013/05/usa-water-crisis-louisiana-bayou-corne-grand-bayou-sinkhole-begins-can-it-end-will-lake-pigneur-repeat-history-special-water-education-edition-part-1-of-3-timeline-history-videos/

USA: Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou sinkhole history

http://savethewater.org/2013/05/usa-water-crisis-bayou-corne-and-grand-bayou-sinkhole-special-water-education-edition-part-2-of-3-history-and-video-timeline-june-28-2012-may-16-2013-facts-about-grand-bayou-sink-hole/

Related, with great pictures  [from 2005] –  Lake Peigneur: The Swirling Vortex of Doom, New Iberia, Louisiana

NOTE:  Save the Water is added to the sidebar in ‘Other’ topic.

SB200 Effort Again! Plus a tutorial on Louisiana problems with salt dome storage caverns‏

OK, everybody! You know the drill! Letter writin’ time again, e-mailing too!

SB200 back on the table and big support needed yet again.  So write, call & e-mail your Louisiana senators!

Find them here.

From G. Conlin,  Vermilion Parish, Louisiana

You have heard of some of the problems here in Louisiana we have with salt dome storage caverns.  There is the disaster in Assumption parish that has been ongoing since August 3, 2012.  This is just one of the many articles about this ongoing disaster.
http://theadvocate.com/home/5543772-125/sinkhole-swallows-more-trees

Here in Vermilion-Iberia parishes in Louisiana, AGL Resources is trying to expand their natural gas salt dome storage at Jefferson Island Storage & Hub under Lake Peigneur.  There has been an ongoing fight to stop this expansion. Despite the problems in Assumption parish and the problems that there have been at Lake Peigneur for years, the company is determined to expand.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmh2Ydm2dW4  

I became interested in 2011, and have been trying to help these people. In Feb, 2011, I was interviewed on local TV, the company’s PR man went to the TV station after and stopped anymore about Lake Peigneur. The PR man also called me left a message on my answering machine to set up an appointment with one of the company men.  I am a no body, but this is what they do to stop any information from getting out.

Below is some of the information.

This is so important to those of us that use the Chicot aquifer, our only fresh water source for 15 parishes. SB200 reached the Louisiana Senate floor but was defeated, but it might be  Reconsidered.  SB200 will protect the Chicot Aquifer and 4,000 people that live in the area of a natural gas salt dome storage cavern in Iberia – Vermilion parishes.

Water-level declined in the Chicot aquifer system during the period 1995-2005, based on data from the USGS/DOTD water-level network. The USGS has not conducted any studies that were specially designed to assess the effects of groundwater withdrawals at JISH.

Jefferson Island Storage & Hub, LLC 2009 OPERATING AGREEMENT

3.4. Water Rights; Chicot Aquifer Withdrawal Restriction. Further without limiting the foregoing, and subject to obtaining any approvals required under Applicable Law, Jefferson Island shall have the right to drill for and extract water as may be necessary, incidental, or desirable for the Permitted Purposes, including, without limitation,

First permit application submitted had 15 pages of deficiencies resulting in AGL Resources hiring a firm to write a revised permit application. About Lake Peigneur

TKE Engineering, JISH’s engineering co. was also the engineer for sparsely populated area Moss Bluff, TX natural gas salt dome caverns engineer company, completed in 2002 and had 2 explosions in 2004, AGL,s Richard Hyde, was working for Duke Energy, operator, at the time.
http://www.chron.com/business/energy/article/Explosion-rocks-gas-storage-facility-in-Liberty-1557248.php  http://www.tke-engineering.com/proj2.html

Eugene Owen, BR, Director & Chairman of Utility Holdings Inc., BR Water Company, Parish Water Company, Inc., Ascension Water Company and LAWCO, New Iberia, stated that 8 years ago because of contamination problems, wells had to be moved, costing millions. Increased withdrawal from the Chicot Aquifer by AGL’s (JISH) proposed well-pumping would significantly accelerate the rate of potential contaminates, arsenic.
http://senate.legis.state.la.us/Environment/archives/2011/video.htm

Steve Langlinais, engineer, stated a hydrologist claims this could lower the withdrawal level in the Chicot aquifer as much as 17 to 75 feet. He also stated that the Chicot aquifer has not recovered from the 1994 water withdrawal from the first two natural gas salt dome caverns and one concern would be more salt water intrusion.

There is bubbling in Lake Peigneur and the cause is not known. We do not need another Bayou Corne, Assumption Parish disaster.

90% of the people work in the oil and gas industry that live in this area  are against the expansion.  These people, Save Lake Peigneur, have gone and presented experts’ statements about the problems, and AGL Resources goes to these same meetings with the Senate Natural Resources Committee, etc.  with their lobbyists and I have never heard them say that Save Lake Peigneur’s experts are wrong.  The company people even said at one time they will not have an accident!!!

Our own Louisiana governor, Bobby Jindal, did not even bother to visit Assumption parish until after Erin Brockovich came to the area seven months after this disaster started.

====================================

You can send faxes from a home computer with no fax machine. See this company (there are others too).

Good News From Save Lake Peigneur + talking points for letter writing

Thanks to 11th hour strident action by concerned voters important bill, SB200 will not be tossed but will be reconsidered 🙂

About SB200.

Also – this news update –

There are only 10 people working right now at Jefferson Storage & Hub, one will be added after the expansion, hardly worth putting agriculture  and other industries & 4,000 people that live in that area in danger.

In 2011 Eugene Owen, of Baton Rouge, Director & Chairman  of  Utility  Holdings Inc., the holding company for Baton Rouge Water Company,  Parish Water  Company,  Inc.,  Ascension  Water  Company and LAWCO, New Iberia,  stated that 8 years ago because of contamination problems, wells had to be moved, costing millions. Increased withdrawal from the Chicot Aquifer by AGL’s (JISH) proposed well-pumping would significantly accelerate the rate of potential contaminates, arsenic. http://senate.legis.state.la.us/Environment/archives/2011/video.htm

Earlier report on the first round loss – before the reconsideration given it :  Lake Peigneur gets snubbed by Senate … again  

When writing your senators here are some good points to mention:

Opening something like this: “Dear Senator,
Please read and reconsider SB200.   This information has previously been given to these Senate committees, Natural Resources, DEQ, Coastal Management and more. ” . . .

The majority of the Senate Natural Resources Committee voted yea on SB200.  They know the problems facing the expansion of Jefferson Island Storage & Hub, LLC. About Lake Peigneur

JISH expansion will affect the Chicot Aquifer, Lake Peigneur, and 4,000 people in that area.

Water-level declined in the Chicot aquifer system during the period 1995-2005, based on data from the USGS/DOTD water-level network. The USGS has not conducted any studies that were specially designed to assess the effects of groundwater withdrawals at JISH.

Jefferson Island Storage & Hub, LLC 2009 OPERATING AGREEMENT

3.4. Water Rights; Chicot Aquifer Withdrawal Restriction. Further without limiting the foregoing, and subject to obtaining any approvals required under Applicable Law, Jefferson Island shall have the right to drill for and extract water as may be necessary, incidental, or desirable for the Permitted Purposes, including, without limitation,

First permit application submitted had 15 pages of   deficiencies resulting in AGL Resources hiring a firm to write a revised permit application.

TKE Engineering, JISH’s engineering co. was also the engineer for sparsely populated area Moss Bluff, TX natural gas salt dome caverns engineer company, completed in 2002 and had 2 explosions in 2004, AGL,s Richard Hyde, was working for Duke Energy, operator, at the time.

http://www.chron.com/business/energy/article/Explosion-rocks-gas-storage-facility-in-Liberty-1557248.php   http://www.tke-engineering.com/proj2.html

Iberia & Vermilion Parishes, LA

CHARACTER OF WORK: …permittee be allowed to dredge 87,273 cubic yards from 10.31 acres of water bottom….dredged material would be suction dredged …re-deposited into a deeper portion of Lake Peigneur …. Total deposition area would be 28.5 acres of Lake Water Bottom filled with dredged material. This proposal includes 11,986 cubic yards of temporary placed fill from trenching for the installation of pipeline from the HDD exit point to the wellhead platforms.

http://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/ops/regulatory/publicnotices.asp

Eugene Owen, BR, Director & Chairman  of  Utility  Holdings Inc., BR Water Company,  Parish Water  Company,  Inc.,  Ascension  Water  Company and LAWCO, New Iberia,  stated that 8 years ago because of contamination problems, wells had to be moved, costing millions. Increased withdrawal from the Chicot Aquifer by AGL’s (JISH) proposed well-pumping would significantly accelerate the rate of potential contaminates, arsenic.

http://senate.legis.state.la.us/Environment/archives/2011/video.htm

Steve Langlinais, engineer, stated a hydrologist claims this could lower the withdrawal level in the Chicot aquifer as much as 17 to 75 feet. He also stated that the Chicot aquifer has not recovered from the 1994 water withdrawal from the first two natural gas salt dome caverns and one concern would be more salt water intrusion.

Please reconsider. There is bubbling and the cause is not known.  We do not need another Bayou Corne.

On Texas Brine ‘Updates’ & Wed. News

A new “fact sheet” from Texas Brine – they are sticking to the swamp gas story.

The 3 places to find Texas Brine “updates”.  Not where you think they are.
Main update page.  Where they claim they inform the public but has the least information.
Then on the DNR‘s page “All Bayou Corne Updates“,  select “Daily Reports” > selcect “Texas Brine“.
A hidden extra page with some sample data (sometimes and with vague information) is found by going back  to the DNR “All Bayou Corne Updates” page and skipping the useless, never updated “Texas Brine Drilling Operations” page and instead selecting  “Plans and Reports” and you get “Texas Brine Operation Reports” where they often have 2 interesting items; a Daily Report and a letter to  DNR about how in-compliance they are. And those letters are signed by …. Veep, Bruce Martin!  Spinner_AL

So you bookmark THESE 3 pages:       TB1    TB2    TB3

DOOR #1 DOOR #2 DOOR #3

8 p.m. CST –  There is approval for reconsideration of Senator Mills’ SB200.  It will be on the Senate floor again.
Thanks for everyone’s help. We can not give up.

Terrific seismic activity continued overnight and the crews are working in violation of the Code 3 order as evidenced by this LA12 chart. All the charts look like this. Not even bothering with a Droopy dog cartoon.  PuterMan sent this page of charts from May 5 showing dramatic happenings.

>>> MORE PHOTOS!  From Lower Miss. Riverkeepers – May 6th

Baton Rouge has severe weather warning and it has river flood warning:

THE FLOOD WARNING CONTINUES FOR THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER AT RED RIVER LANDING.
* UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
* AT 10:00 AM WEDNESDAY THE STAGE WAS 51.2 FEET.
* MINOR FLOODING IS OCCURRING AND MINOR FLOODING IS FORECAST.
* FLOOD STAGE IS 48.0 FEET.
* FORECAST…THE RIVER IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE RISING UNTIL CRESTING
AT AROUND 52.0 FEET BY SUNDAY MAY 19TH.
* IMPACT…AT 51.0 FEET…ALL RIVER ISLANDS ALONG THE REACH FROM RED
RIVER LANDING TO BATON ROUGE WILL BE INUNDATED. RECREATIONAL CAMPS
AND RIVER BOTTOM FARM LAND WILL BE UNDER WATER.

Assumption Parish not getting any weather alerts yet.