Louisiana’s state of emergency due to its giant Bayou Corne “sinkhole” is nearing seven months long, but the tremors, migrating methane, and expansion continue in this week’s new round of environmental and human assaults that now officially extend two miles and prompted workers to be pulled off the job.
Wednesday, the state’s Department of Natural Resources Office of Conservation began advising Assumption Parish officials and the public in the Bayou Corne area that the contracted CB&I and Itasca Group analysis of ongoing seismic monitoring detected what again appeared to be an uptick in underground fluid movement below the sinkhole.
Underground “fluid” appears to be moving in the vicinity of Texas Brine LLC’s failed Oxy 3 cavern over the past three days.
The advisement was publicly issued and then relayed at 1:15 P.M. Wednesday by Assumption Parish officials.
“As noted in earlier similar events, the fluid movement appears to be linked to observations of trees falling into the sinkhole, release of trapped debris from the sinkhole bottom and increased odor from hydrocarbons released to surface,” the state advised, according to the Assumption Parish post on its blog.
Tuesday, quakes, or “underground tremors” as officials call the mini-quakes at the disaster site, resulted in workers called off of the collapsing salt dome “sinkhole” job site.
Along with the “tremors” Tuesday, small bubbling spots re-emerged in the salt dome “sinkhole” that prompted a State of Emergency declaration almost seven months ago.
Methane, now expanding two miles in the emergency area, typically moves ahead of crude oil.
There are are over 40 reported methane bubbling sites in the area, in local bayous and swamps, where the dangerous gas percolates and threatens to ignite and explode.CB&I and Itasca Group analysts also advised Wednesday that, while the activity appears to represent no additional significant threat to the general area, operations directly on the sinkhole be suspended until subsurface activity slows again.
The historic sinkhole is engulfing the entire 1-mile by 3-mile Napoleonville Salt Dome, as reported by this author on Sept. 30.
At that time, early in the disaster, Bayou Corne residen Randy Rousseau said, “I don’t feel comfortable here. I don’t feel safe. I don’t think this will get any better. The sooner I can get out of here, the better.”
Locals continue to request national media attention and for Governor Jindal to respond more aggressively to the emergency.
Jindal, well funded by the oil and gas industry for his campaigns, has failed to visit the disaster site, as governors typically do when disasters in their states do.
At local briefings and at the hearing last week in Baton Rouge, scientists said the mini-quakes and “sinkhole” “burbs” link to movement of fluids or gas through a zone of fractured rock next to the 1-mile by 3-mile Napoleonville Salt Dome.
The scientists say that the sharp tremors are produced by movement of sedimentary rock migrating into Texas Brine’s failed cavern.
Last week, officials admitted about the explosive methane lurching in the area:
1) There is substantially more than 50,000,000 cubic feet of methane below surface near giant sinkhole.
2) The methane covers over 2 square miles.
3) There is enough methane there to do “very serious damage” and very rapidly, “if uncontrolled.”