DNR OFFICE OF CONSERVATION — Louisiana Commissioner of Conservation James Welsh announced today that his Office has fined Texas Brine LLC $100,000 for failure to comply with several of the orders included in his November 12 directive to the company.
Welsh on Nov. 12 gave Texas Brine new instructions in an amendment to the already existing Declaration of Emergency and Directive, intended to further the ongoing efforts to protect public safety and the environment in the area, abate the impacts of natural gas that migrated to the aquifer due to the failure of Texas Brine’s cavern, and prevent the release of crude oil from the sinkhole created when the company’s cavern wall collapsed.
Texas Brine has been assessed civil penalties of:
• $80,000 for failure to initiate installation of a containment system around the sinkhole to further prevent release of contaminants into nearby waterways by Nov. 16
• $10,000 for failure to install in-home monitors to detect possible natural gas accumulations and upgraded home ventilation for all slab-foundation immediately upon gaining permission from property owners
• $10,000 for failure to begin installation of two new observation/vent wells by Nov. 27
“We cannot and will not tolerate delays or excuses in the effort to protect public safety and the environment, especially when the people of Bayou Corne still cannot feel comfortable returning to their own homes,” Welsh said. “Texas Brine needs to accept its civic responsibility, react quickly and act with urgency to protect the citizens and environment of the Bayou Corne area. We will not stand unwarranted delays in the effort to return the lives of the people of this community to normal.”
Welsh’s notice to Texas Brine on the fines requires immediate payment of the civil penalties and compliance with all provisions of the Nov. 12 directive, and includes the warning that additional actions, including further fines, can be taken if the company continues its failure to comply with the Office of Conservation’s directions.
Bayou Corne residents can attend an community meeting set for December 18 at 7pm at St. Joseph The Worker Catholic Church in Pierre Part.