Federal Lawsuit: Giant Sinkhole May Be Radioactive — Failed salt cavern “may have breached Napoleonville Dome’s outer wall”

Published: August 13th, 2012 at 2:25 pm ET
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Title: Giant Sinkhole May Be Radioactive
Source: Courthouse News Service
Author: SABRINA CANFIELD
Date: August 13, 2012

An enormous, foul-smelling, possibly radioactive sinkhole swallowed an acre of cypress trees and forced 150 home evacuations, Louisianans say in a class action against the Texas Brine Co.

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According to the federal complaint, a salt cavern failed, which Texas Brine Co. was using to store radioactive material, a byproduct of the drilling industry.

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“The public was not warned in January 2011 or any time thereafter or prior of the potential danger resulting from the failure of this cavern and the general public had no knowledge of the storage of the radioactive material in the cavern,” the complaint states.

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“In early September 2010, defendant began reworking the cavern well, milling a section of salt higher than the existing cavern roof, at 3,400 feet deep, to see if the upper strata could be mined. This area extends for about 100 feet through the well casing above the cavern roof.

“On January 21, 2011, Mark J. Cartwright, President of Texas Brine Co. Saltville informed the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR), via letter, about a failed integrity test of the cavern and suspicion that the cavern may have breached the Napoleonville Dome’s outer wall. These problems with the cavern led to the cavern being plugged in June 2011. The area milled in September 2010 may be the source of the salt dome breach.

“LDNR records show that Defendant had been examining the cavern’s wall at
least since June 2010.”

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Published: August 13th, 2012 at 2:25 pm ET
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