Residents, leaders say Texas Brine isn't communicating

Assumption Officials and DEQ returning with samples
Assumption Officials and DEQ returning with samples

BAYOU CORNE, LA (WAFB) - Some Louisiana and Assumption Parish leaders are furious over what they perceive as a communication breakdown related to the massive sinkhole.

The latest findings on the slurry in Bayou Corne were sent to news media just after 10:30 p.m. Monday, nut not everyone got the message.

State and local leaders were under the impression Texas Brine would keep them abreast of every move they make at the site. However, some of them woke up Tuesday morning to find that is not the case.

The smell of gas and soot cover the swampy channels in Assumption Parish. Homes have been evacuated and for nearly two months, scientists have been parked at the Texas Brine property. They are drilling, measuring and analyzing material to determine what caused the large sinkhole.

According to the USGS, the seismic activity in the area is the result of a cavern collapsing, but not necessarily the cause of the slurry. Residents said they are losing faith in Texas Brine.

"To Texas Brine and the six companies on the dome, if seismic activity is causing these caverns to fail, then we suggest you all pack up your operations and get the heck out of our community," said John Achee Jr. "You have caused enough damage already."

A diagnostic team measuring the depth of a compromised cavern on the site Monday night reached a figure 1,300 feet closer to the surface than originally logged. Sonny Cranch, a spokesman for Texas Brine, said samples of the material that has fallen into the base of the cavern are being analyzed. An oily fluid, which has come up through a borehole, is also being tested.

John Boudreaux, director of the Assumption Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness, said he did not find out until Tuesday morning.

"It was very surprising to find that they sent a press release without informing us first," Boudreaux said.

Cranch defended Brine's actions.

"We post these statements on the website, literally every day," Cranch said.

Boudreaux said that is not good enough. He is making it his mission to make sure the public gets that information faster.

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