Scientist: Tap water could probably run a lawn mower… it’s real gas — 500,000 times legal limit for benzene — “I’ve never seen such high levels” — Brockovich visits Illinois community (VIDEO)

Published: March 14th, 2013 at 4:46 pm ET
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Daily Times (Illinois), March 6, 2013: Contacted by phone Wednesday, [environmental scientist Robert] Bowcock expressed shock and alarm from lab results recently processed from Wedron [Illinois] groundwater samples […] “The federal government allows five parts per billion of benzene as its maximum level,” said Bowcock. “The samples I collected and had tested were at 2,600,000 per billion. That is 520,000 times the legal limit. That is the highest we’ve ever had from a residential well water supply. The lab even had to dilute the samples before proper testing could be performed.” Bowcock said, “You could probably run a lawn mower with this foul, toxic water coming out of certain taps in Wedron. The lab and I have never seen such high levels (of benzene and other toxic solvents). It’s real gas.”

Photo: Steve Stout

Daily Times (Illinois), March 10, 2013:  California-based environmental activist Erin Brockovich told Wedron residents Sunday afternoon her staff’s forensic testing of private wells has pinpointed toxic groundwater pollution to the town’s only industry — Fairmount Minerals […] “We now know from those results, the pollution is not from a rail car spill or a gas station tank or some corn silo guy — it is definitely from an industrial source,” she said. […] “Individually, you don’t have much of a voice, but together, the residents of Wedron will have power to recoup relocation and recovery from any potential medical bills. Without question, looking at the alarmingly high pollution levels, you all are facing real serious problems” [said  attorney Thomas Girardi…]

2 days later…

Daily Times (Illinois), March 12, 2013: The Serena Fire District recently received a $2,500 donation from Fairmount Minerals Technisand in Wedron. Serena Fire Chief Rodney Reese, left, accepts the check from Fairmount plant superintendent Jack Showden. Serena Fire District recently received a $2,500 donation from Northern Border Pipeline, whose pipeline runs through the district. Receiving the check from Northern Border Field technician Tom Fehr, middle, is Serena Deputy Fire Chief Steve Kellogg, left, with Serena Fire Chief Rodney Reese.

Watch: Brockovich speaks to community in Wedron, IL

Published: March 14th, 2013 at 4:46 pm ET
By

67 comments

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67 comments to Scientist: Tap water could probably run a lawn mower… it’s real gas — 500,000 times legal limit for benzene — “I’ve never seen such high levels” — Brockovich visits Illinois community (VIDEO)

  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    This didn't get to this level yesterday. Where was the DNR?

    It's going to be fun to see Jindal try to cover up this clusterFUBAR.

    • Time Is Short Time Is Short

      My bad. It was a fast skim and I didn't notice this was in Illinois.

      Erin is a busy lady, and she's got sooo many places to visit.

  • WindorSolarPlease

    My head is spinning with all that is going wrong, or maybe it's the radiation that I am breathing in, that is causing my brain to fog up.

    If I understand this right, Illinois has a good amount of gasoline for their drinking water, due to pipelines?
    I guess they forgot that the human body doesn't run on gas.

    Is there a map of this pipe line?

    • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

      I've got the map of a couple of the pipelines in IL that run ALL OVER the place here especially along the Chicago Sanitary District Canal where I live and once or twice a year flyers are mailed to residents warning of digging or excavation without calling "JULIE" with the coordinates for proposed ground work approval,etc. with special instructions & toll-free numbers to call to report problems or anomalies. Most of the Chicago-border suburbs and "elite" communities have Chicago Municipal water supplying us with what has been called the best tap water to be found since they'd spent billions on state of the art filtration plants & infrastructure fed by Lake Michigan and the well water & small lakes & rivers have always been foul beyond descript. This story doesn't surprise me one bit although I am concerned about the lack of our previously mailed annual drinking water report that hasn't been available since before 311 and I'm positive that New Madrid faultline seismic activity has been felt here via the bedrock that transfers/transports seismic events many hundreds of miles and have personally seen MANY unexplained "events" & utility company "emergencies" increasing in frequency in the State!(?) Some years back Ford City Mall Shopping Center had a HUGE underground explosion some claimed was "gas" while others suggested a secret,underground ammunition depot/bunker from WW2 had exploded cratering over 50 yards of the parking lot & destroyed many cars?!! 😐 ~**

      • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

        I forgot to mention that there's a gas pipeline operated by a company called "TEPCO"!!(?) which I think is based in Texas and has no affiliation with the other profiteering poisoner in Japan(but I could be wrong about that?)-if I can find the last flyer and map of the pipeline and communities it runs through I'll post it later,but I also forgot to mention that the Chicago Municipal water supply MIA annual water report might have some very interesting details when it finally does arrive since the local Stickney,IL water pumping station had a BIG event that had DHS and FBI,EPA,NRC all out there in force over "something" they'd detected but despite video clips and serious implications made during news briefs/sneak peeks leading up to prime-time,evening MSM news the story was absent from the news broadcasts just a few hours later & never mentioned again although my mother said the 1st reports mentioned radiation??!! That was about the time my wife was diagnosed with cancer around January 2012. I've got the 2010 annual water quality report available and I wonder what the "missing" ones from 2011,2012,2013 will hold re;things like Cesium,Strontium and/or even worse contaminants I'd bet my life are and have been being detected?!! 😐 ~**

    • Anthony Anthony

      Serious madness.

  • dodge

    We had gas in the water in norther IL back in the 80's. Never tested it, put drinking water in the fridge – the gas escaped. When it was time for relatives to go home, you just filled a milk jug, light the gas escaping, and people watched in awe – made plans to go back home. Always though there should have been some use for that gas.

  • jec jec

    Our federal government folks who are ignoring this poison..need to be in jail for attempted manslaughter. FIRE them.

  • dosdos dosdos

    It's from fracking sludge dumped into a shallow well, if levels are that high. And because of federal laws protecting the frackers from any and all environmental laws, they can't be prosecuted. Same reason that the sinkhole in Assumption Parish isn't seeing strict action. Texas Brine is protected by federal law because fracking sludge caused the sinkhole, and they know it. Same thing in Illinois, no one will be prosecuted.

    This is, of course, if it wasn't some major meth lab that got busted up by a rival gang. Nah, it was fracking. No meth lab is that big.

    • Thad

      DosDos
      you keep running your mouth about fracking sludge in the Tx Brn Oxy#3 cavern and that it caused the sinkhole. First you show your ignorance because you do not know what caused the sinkhole even though it has been discussed here many times.
      When ask for proof you go silent until you run your mouth again. And still no proofs–

      • weeman

        Does it matter if it is man made or Murphy at work, ie nature, we are in unknown territory, has this happened before, I dont thinks so, why it is a man made problem, pumped crap that ate salt, deep horizon had effect, I don't know, strange but true.

        • Thad

          weeman
          What DosDos and you are missing /dismissing is there is only one substance that dissolves salt in a salt dome thatis water– fresh water. And it takes 3 barrels of water to dissolve one barrel of salt then the water is saturated salt brine and can dissolve no more—

          So no crap ate the salt, strange but mot true–

          • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

            Thad please provide the research that explains how radioactive NORM reacts with brine after the waste has been entombed over 10 years.

            • Thad

              MH
              You're are asking about two different things–
              Decay of NORM radioactivity which if the source element is known the the half-life is known.
              Chemical reaction on the carrier materials in brine– as they were orginal sourced from fossil salt water and inert they would be inert in brine…

              • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

                So how would radioactive waste be inert in Brine? & Please provide the research that shows this thanks.

                • Thad

                  MH
                  What radioactive waste are you refering to?

                  • Thad

                    MH
                    Question was radioactive waste in brine BUT we are talking about NORM contaminated pipe scale in brine. The pipescale mostly carbonates and salts from brine are inert in brine. Both the pipescale and radium, etc are many times heavier than the brine so would immediately sank to bottom. Radium will not react with any of the elements or chemical compounds found in saltdomes. 3,000 ft of salt brine is more than adequate sheilding to prevent any radiation escaping to surface.
                    According to Hecox of Shaw group the breach was at the top of the cavern with sediment from the sinkhole and underground void entering at that point and filling the cavern from above. The 20 cu ft pipescale w/NORM wiuld be scattered over the bottom 300' wide and buried by 3 yrs of impurities fallout from solution mining would not have been disturbed but buried under ~2,000ft sediment.

                • Thad

                  MH
                  NORM and NORM contaminated materials are classified as radioactive waste- agreed.
                  And we agree on amount of NORM contaminated material dropped in to Oxy #3 though the actual level of NORM is questioned. The state permotted the disposal in the cavern as being safe.
                  It was my misunderstanding that NORM under a certain level was not considered radioactive waste– I stand corrected.
                  On another forum there was were claims that the failed SL-1 reactor of 1961 was disposed of in the cavern along with it now being used for 'dry cask' of depleted fuel rods. Truthfully that was the type arguement I thought I was enter here– again my misunderstanding. You know what you were discussing -OK – accepted and respected- my bad. BUT it still begs the question "what are the others- those without proofs claiming?"
                  One event do you have any information of other radioactive waste disposed on in the cavern?
                  Does anyone else claiming the cavern was used a dump have any information/ proof of the fracking sludge or salt eating crap.

                  • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

                    Thank you Thad. And I make no claims about anything else in those domes & I am only talking about the 20 cubic feet of NORM. I will not talk oil simply because I know so very little. As stated the radioactive material using the states own tests that they do show radium 15 times over safe levels. I know that any dose does affect DNA as well as being extremely dangerous to children. I hope that those near the sinkhole will take that NORM into account when either talking buyouts or if there are medical conditions, noting that effects may take some time before they present themselves. You are a friend to residents & I felt you would be encouraging people to brush this off. We are not doctors so my thought is let a doctor check people out & let pros determine if they were affected or may be. And to look into it also affecting the collapse of the dome.

                    I was also curious & wondering if it could affect the sinkhole & have helped in the collapse even in a small way & if there were any studies…my research came up with 0, because supposedly NORM is not being stored in Salt domes anywhere in the country.

                    • Thad

                      MH
                      FWIW several of the early tests were questionable and not repearable when follow up testing made by the Shaw Group. The same group testing was the same group that had been claiming it wasn't happening–La DEQ/DNR. The failure of the cavern was mechanical- driven by gravity. The out side of saltdomes are fractured and broken from when the saltdome extruded upward millions of yrs ago. TxBrn solution mined to close to the outside wall the formations collapsed inward as sediment 'poured' into the cavern the sinkhole formed.
                      The formations that collapsed are also oil and gas bearing and are leaking- gas pressurizing the near surface aquifer–
                      The oil and gas both in pressure and volume is not so great– WHat people fear and need to get away from is the missing material. The volume of the sinkhole and the amount of fill in the cavern has been calculated— there is 3,000,000 cubic yards of material missimg- a void or voids underground locations unknown–3,000,000 cu yds equal to 80 foit ball fields 40 ft deep.
                      THAT IS WHAT THEY FEAR AS THEY SHOULD AND AS MOST MIDDLE CLASS PEOPLE TODAY THEY DO NOT HAVE THE ABILITY TO JUST WALK OFF- That is why the buy out is so important.
                      Maybe now you have some understand why th dump-dump bunch with their fracking sludge and salt eating crap gets under my skin- Peace

                    • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

                      My reply should be below but it is above..sorry..Thank you for your reply & now I understand a bit better. Peace

                  • haizedustrium-1234 haizedustrium-1234

                    + how much flowed to Lake Verret?

    • WindorSolarPlease

      Corporations carved out caverns, to make a profit from the highest paying customer, so they could dump, dump, and dump.

      What did they dump, probably everything you can think of.
      How many waste caverns are there?
      They are about profit, not environment protection.

      Was this nature made .. No ..
      However, nature might be telling us ..
      ENOUGH is ENOUGH!!!

      • Thad

        WSP
        How is you know "What was dumped" in the caverns and the people living there don't. If you know you and dosdos know then document it so the people living there will know and can use the information to help force the buy-out.
        If you can't document then you don't know. And if you don't know then shut up and quite scaring people.

        • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

          THAD This info has been supplied for you by me for 1. And you did in fact reply but I guess you forgot. 🙂 SO I will supply you with 1 or 2 links…then you can go find much more info by looking at related links below each post.

          I want to make sure that when I can I share that info so that others will learn the truth & no be misinformed. 🙂

          Louisiana Sinkhole: Radioactive waste in cavern may have exceeded radiation limits — Up to 20 cubic feet pumped inside

          DNR records show that on Aug. 31, 1995, the agency authorized Texas Brine to dispose of 20 cubic feet of naturally occurring radioactive material by pumping it into the cavern and another Texas Brine salt cavern in Lafourche Parish.

          Texas Brine officials said on Friday that the NORM, which had a radioactivity below current standards but matched or was higher than the standards at the time, was likely entombed at the bottom of the cavern under layers of salt after it was dumped. Brine production continued for several years afterward.

          http://enenews.com/louisiana-sinkhole-radioactive-waste-in-cavern-may-have-exceeded-radiation-limits-up-to-20-cubic-feet-pumped-inside

          State officials are investigating how Texas Brine Co. LLC handled naturally occurring radioactive material [NORM] in Assumption Parish — where a large sinkhole was found Aug. 3 — and whether it was illegally disposed of inside the Napoleonville Dome in the mid-1990s

          http://enenews

          • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

            http://enenews.com/newspaper-controversy-over-radioactive-material-stored-below-giant-louisiana-sinkhole

            Stanley Waligora — a New Mexico-based radiation protection consultant and leading authority on the health risks of naturally occurring radioactive material, or NORM — confirmed earlier reports that radium levels at the site about 70 miles west of New Orleans are not within limits but roughly 15 times higher than the acceptable level set by the state.

            http://enenews.com/radiation-expert-there-are-immediate-radiation-dose-concerns-from-sinkhole-govt-is-in-denial-they-dont-know-what-to-do-about-the-radioactive-contamination

            All of this info should be used re the buyouts.

            • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

              "Disposal of NORM [naturally occurring radioactive material]-Contaminated Oil Field Wastes in Salt Caverns": "On July 6, 1988, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a regulatory determination that exempted any wastes arising from the exploration, development, and production of crude oil, natural gas, and geothermal energy from regulation as hazardous wastes under RCRA Subtitle C (53 FR 25477). … Given the federal exemption from RCRA for oil field wastes, the waste management requirements faced by most operators will be state requirements."

              The document, which was released in 1998, states that Louisiana law prohibited storage of naturally occurring radioactive waste in salt caverns, and that the law would have to be amended before storage would be possible.

              • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

                Maiden Heaven – excellent proof. Anyone that insists on staying there after reading you information needs to have their heads examined. They had better begin work on a down stream filtration system pronto before anymore NORM escapes into the bayous and contaminates lake Verret and all bayou communities south of Bayou Corne. That is if it hasn't already.

                • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

                  Thanks timemachine2020. I would think at least some may have escaped, at least after some of those *burps when water is displaced. I recall thinking when those trees popped back up after 1 such burp that at least some of what was down there likely came up.

                • 16Penny 16Penny

                  MaidenHeaven,

                  "They had better begin work on a down stream filtration system"

                  and

                  "They had better begin work on a down stream filtration system"

                  It is absolutely possible and in my opinion, likely. We know that the sinkhole has connected to the nearby bayou several times after heavy rain. So whatever is in the water is already filtering through everything downstream.

                  Mother natures pollution filter, coming to a dinning room table or eating establishment near you.

                  Everything coming up also could contaminate the aquifer if not coming directly to the sinkhole. It is time to take environmental samples. Trees can be used to identify the levels of contamination in soils and will even provide contamination logs along waterways, as they take up different kinds of pollution over time. Tree core samples, similar to soil samples, can be analyzed to estimate levels of contamination or identify the source of contamination.

                  They call it phytoforensics.

                  An older article from 2011, so imagine what it can do today. Can you pick up a test kit at walmart yet? Probably not, but I am sure it is more refined than when it was presented.

                  http://discover.mst.edu/2011/03/phytoforensics-green-remediation-takes-root.html

                  • 16Penny 16Penny

                    Oh ya, to clear something up,

                    "Trees can be used to identify the levels of contamination"

                    Only the ones still standing continue to bear witness. Dead ones of course no longer uptake contamination, so before people who don't read links jump on that . . .

                    And the trees that marinated underwater for a while until they got burped back up and thrown in a dumpster would not continue to uptake toxins the same way, but may be useful in identifying any other contamination they came in contact with on their JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF LOUISIANA!!

                    • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

                      Indeed, I had never heard of phytoforensics, very interesting. Agreed this technique should be used. Smart thinking about those dead trees too.

                      I do wonder how far this technique will progress or be used…as soon as I saw that the army has given funding. We all know what happens once the military is involved…

                    • 16Penny 16Penny

                      I'm not saying they are innocent but for instance,

                      "We all know what happens once the military is involved…"

                      It could be used to assist in location and remediation of Dep. Uranium munitions on Shooting ranges and stuff. Just to play devil's advocate.

                  • 16Penny 16Penny

                    lol, one of those

                    "They had better begin work on a down stream filtration system"

                    was supposed to be a

                    "I would think at least some may have escaped,"

          • WindorSolarPlease

            Thank you MaidenHeaven, 16Penny, timemachine2020

            They didn't carve caverns to drop lollipops in it.

            Thad, we have always talked nice to each other, I hope you continue to. Telling people to shut up is not your job.

            This is a site where we try to get to the truth, and sometimes the truth is scary.

            • Thad

              WSP
              Really sorry about the wording and if it hurt feelings.
              Maybe you can tell me what to say and how to say it- seriously– People keep repeatly claiming things and present no proofs even when repeatly asked. So how does one say present the proof or stop saying it. Maybe add a "Please". Claims without proof when requested are no more than rumors posted by someone wanting to be important and in the discussion–Then let them find some real issue to present- that they can prove.
              Anytime I'm asked for proofs they are presented–whether or not they are believed is not the point– they are presented.
              So to all those chanting dump-dump-dunp PLEASE document. DosDos- fracking sludge, WSP-dump, can you be specific, weeman – crap ate salt, specifically what crap. Do you really think it helps the people at Bayou Corne – this noise when unproven only put in doubt anything else they say- ever wonder why the people there have not joined in this chorus of dump-dump-dump
              Caverns were never 'carved to creat dumps' they were solution mined to produce salt brine used in chemical plants to make chlorine products. Then later for STORAGE of gas or liquid products mostly petroleum bases. The storage use is too valuable to be used as dump.

              • WindorSolarPlease

                Thad, There is nothing wrong in asking for proof.

                I believe people and enenews have already given the proof that I need. I would just be repeating what has already been written, that you have disagreed on.
                I am not about to go around and around with you on this. Take what is given and decide for yourself what you think.

                I do believe things were dumped, and personally I would not want or would live there.

                At this point, I think we can agree to disagree on this subject. Thank you.

          • Thad

            MH
            Sorry seems I'm not the only one with a short menory —
            First MORM is not nuclear waste- Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material –you probably have some under your house in your garage–
            http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/environmental/publications/norm.php

            20 cu ft of NORM comtaminated pipe scale — not 20cu ft of NORM- 20 cu ft- one large wheel barrow of pipescale. Percent of NORM ? Within acceptable limits for disposal in the cavern..

            Stanley Waligora–sitting in New Mex never been to Bayou Corne responding to information given to him by a known activist– how valid is he to the actual condition- That stiry is a re-run from Dupree's article in the 'Examiner"

            So what is the definition of radioactive waste– hazard level should have something to do with it – after all a discarded wrist watch with "glow-in-the-dark" hand is radioactive waste. The NORM discarded in the cavern was permitted as non-hazardous–

            • MaidenHeaven MaidenHeaven

              Thad Radium measured 15 times above normal levels sure has a whole heck of alot to do with what is going on *down there, interesting that you just ignore the VITAL part of the article. But I assure you most people would want to know what the dangers are…& I am most concerned about the children, seniors & others that are susceptible to this.

              I can NOT comprehend how over & over you read the same material (I have read your replies each time someone posts this info) and you brush every single concern for the health of those residents off completely. These are DEQ test results that you repeatably ignore & I guess maybe it is better that I not know why you would.

              • Thad

                MH
                20 cu ft of NORM contaminated pipescale – what part of that was actually radioactive?? The poison is in the dose size.
                Insoluble in brine, specific gravity twice that of the brine drops to the bottom of a 400' x 3,000' cavern with a volume of some 5,000,000 cu yds- then buried by 3 yrs of precipatating impurities as the salt was solution mined–All before the sinkhole/ cavern breach –and now buried under 3,000,000 cu yds of sediment —so what is the problem

              • 16Penny 16Penny

                A dose is a dose is a dose, and it is cumulative. If radioactive pipescale wasn't dangerous then it would have wound up in a Burger (king) chains kitchen by now and no special permitting would be required. I guess you could compare that to bananas for the simple minded folk. Bananas are not hazardous waste, they are food. NORM is hazardous waste and is not food.

          • PavewayIII PavewayIII

            I didn't want to jump in to this NORM nonsense again MH, but you're seriously distorting what is already known about the situation. This isn't any comment about whether returning NORM to the Napoleonville Dome is good or bad – it's just about interpreting the facts to support a conclusion.

            1980 – Louisiana prohibited storage of ANY radioactive waste in salt domes in response to DOE feasability studies about storing high-level waste in them.

            1988 – The U.S. EPA (Feds) say that NORM waste from DRILLING will be considered separately from other radioactive waste they continue to regulate. They don't claim it's NOT radioactive, just that it's not what THEY regulate. It's up to the states to regulate radioactive stuff that is not included in the fed's 'radioactive waste' classification.

            1995 – Texas Brine has pipe scale NORM to get rid of but isn't sure who regulates this in Louisiana. They send permitting inquiries to the state's DEQ and the LADNR's Office of Conservation.

            The DNR DID NOT permit anything in 1995. They said they didn't object, but Office of Conservation wasn't the permitting authority. Ask someone else.

            The DEQ DID NOT permit anything in 1995 citing the 1979 statute prohibiting ALL Louisiana salt-dome radioactive waste disposal including NORM. Texas Brine could continue to store the NORM on site under their existing DEQ permit.

            • PavewayIII PavewayIII

              In the late 90's, Louisiana is faced with all kinds of problems concerning drilling and production water/NORM disposal. Salt dome solution miners and chlor-alkali chemical plants (Occidental, DOW, etc.) were only a small part of that problem. Their issue was what to do with all the non-sodium chloride impurities removed from the brine in sludge filters. The muck included NORM.

              1999 – Louisiana decided to pull a fed and just removed salt dome solution-mined impurities from the state's 'radioactive waste' classification. No special handling permits are required from the DEQ for salt-dome produced NORM because it is no longer considered part of the class of 'radioactive waste' that they regulated.

              * The DEQ still considers OTHER (non-salt-dome produced) NORM radioactive and still regulates its handling and disposal. They no longer regulate any kind of sludge that Texas Brine, Occidental or DOW produces.

              * The LADNR has long permitted reinjection of filtered deposits and impurities back into a solution-mined salt cavern. You can only return stuff that originally came up with the salt – sand, NORM, anhydrites, other salts. You can't add anything that wasn't originally in the salt like oilfield NORM or fracking waste. That requires an entirely different permit and has never been granted for any cavern in Napoleonville as far as I know.

            • PavewayIII PavewayIII

              Regarding Texas Brine, they asked about permitting in 1995 and nobody gave them one. Their NORM was still in the 'radioactive waste' class. They supposedly just hung on to it (in barrels or whatever) to see what the state was going to do. The radiation was claimed to be 20 uRem, so Texas Brine just considered it regular pipe scale. They weren't going to put it in their grits, but they didn't need to build a lead-lined storage pit for the barrels either.

              Some Texas Brine exec from Houston said in an interview last year that they re-injected it in 1995. Sonny Cranch later said that the manager 'misspoke' and that they didn't do anything with it at the time.

              Could they have secretly and illegally re-injected it somewhere between 1995 and 1999? Sure – they're Texas Brine. But why would they even bother? It wasn't dangerous and nobody was making them get rid of it. I would guess they just rolled the barrels behind a shed and left them there until 1999. Why? Because that would have been the cheapest and easiest thing to do.

              It's frustrating to see anyone worring about this because EVERY Napoleonville cavern has tens of thousands of cubic feet of NORM at the bottom. Most of it just doesn't come up with the brine.

              It's impossible to solution-mine salt and not have impurities settle out. Some of those impurities are NORM. Every cavern in Napoleonville has tons of sediment on the bottom, and some is NORM.

            • PavewayIII PavewayIII

              Ever since 1999, salt cavern operators in Louisiana have not been bound by any special rules governing their solution-mined NORM.

              The DNR still oversees re-injection – it just doesn't have to make special considerations for NORM content anymore. In general, the re-injected minerals have to have came up with the original brine and have to be treated before re-injection if they are overly acidic or alkaline.

              Occidental and Dow have sent tons of brine impurity sludge back to Napoleonville for re-injection since 1999. Tons more remain at the bottom of a cavern as they are being mined. It all has NORM.

              Good idea or stupid? That's a different question.

              There are tons of NORM at the bottom of any cavern that could be burped up to the surface. It's a bad idea to add NORM or any other radioactive substance to the bayou.

              Was there enough radioactivity to measure six months ago? It sounds like there was. Could more come up? Sure. Does it really matter for residents right NOW? I would argue the few million cubic feet of methane rolling around in several clay layers underneath them are more important.

              Is there some weird chemical reactions from NORM that resulted in Oxy #3 collapsing? That's academic at this point. Nobody knows. All the other caverns have NORM and none are known to have collapsed because of it. It will take geologists years to figure this out.

              • Thad

                PIII
                "Is there some weird chemical reactions from NORM that resulted in Oxy #3 collapsing? That's academic at this point. Nobody knows. All the other caverns have NORM and none are known to have collapsed because of it."
                You know the elements in NORM, and you know the saltdome is sodium chloride- you tell us. What chemical in NORM can break the sodium chloride bond–? The NORM originated in the salt and did not chemical react or dissolve it then- so why would it do so when returned to the salt…
                Why chase this theory? Why not accept the findings of the scientists involved. The failure of the cavern was mechanical- driven by gravity. The outside of saltdomes are fractured and weakly joined broken firmation pieces from when the saltdome extruded upward millions of yrs ago. TxBrn solution mined too close to the outside wall. The formations collapsed inward as sediment 'poured' into the cavern the sinkhole formed.
                The formations that collapsed are also have oil and gas bearing sands and are leaking- gas pressurizing the near surface aquifer–
                The oil and gas both in pressure and volume is not so great– What people fear and need to get away from is the missing material. The volume of the sinkhole and the amount of fill in the cavern has been calculated— there is 3,000,000 cubic yards of material missimg- a void or voids underground locations unknown–3,000,000 cu yds equal to 80 foot ball fields 40 ft deep.
                And that why none of the other caverns collapsed–

                • PavewayIII PavewayIII

                  "…Why chase this theory?…"

                  I don't think it had anything to do with the cavern failure. The point of my novel above was about why TB *probably* didn't re-inject NORM into any cavern from 1995 – 1999 and why they did after that and why it doesn't matter anyway:

                  – TB asked DEQ and DNR about a NORM re-injection permit in 1995

                  – They suggested a 20 cu.ft. volume, but didn't have nearly that.

                  – Neither agency could give them a permit, so they just kept the few cubic feet of pipe scale on site.

                  – In 1999, the state decided brine-mining NORM was exempt from the radioactive waste handling restrictions that remained for other types of NORM

                  – Texas Brine and every other solution miner have been allowed to re-inject precipitates, *including* NORM, back into the formation it came from since 1999

                  – All Louisiana salt contains NORM, all solution-mined caverns have tons of insolubles on the bottom that were never removed or re-injected. Some is NORM.

                  – Oxy #3 has NORM at the bottom like every other Napoleonville solution-mined cavern. Some of it burped up to the sinkhole.

                  – If MH or anyone else thinks that's worth worrying about, then they should realize there was NORM and other precipitates at the bottom of Oxy #3 the day they started to solution-mine it.

                  – The permit inquiries in 1995 were not unusual, TB wasn't even sure which agency to ask. Turns out neither one could permit, so Cranch claims they didn't do anything until 1999.

    • Thad

      dosdos

      Waiting—-

  • Johnny Blade Johnny Blade

    Benzene was used HEAVILY & still might be although I recall there was pending legislation seeking to ban or tightly regulate its use that might be in effect now,IDK? But besides the many industrial uses including as a cleaning agent Benzene is used in gasoline/fuel production,etc. and there are a number of refinery's all over IL and I personally know of several locations VERY near my home where huge amounts of benzene and other much worse chemicals has leaked or been intentionally dumped(even into shared residential sewer systems!!)and however it got there-large swaths of industrial lands that have continually had industrial/mfg. activities since the turn of the 20th Century that are highly saturated with benzene showing up most often and in the highest concentrations of the many carcinogenics commonly found. I would NEVER drink well water in IL even before I'd realized how badly the elite,su8b-species of homo-sapiens FUKuD everything up??!! TAKE CARE ALL! 😐 ~**

    • WindorSolarPlease

      Johnny Blade, I drank IL. rusty well water for 17 years (long ago). I'm surprised this old lady is still kicking. I'm sure it wasn't the best water to drink.
      Plus we lived by a high security National Laboratory that my Dad worked at.
      They had the grounds men dump their radioactive waste all over into the ground. It's no longer a high security place and they have admitted there was dumping.

      It was quite a place, Scientists came from all over the world just to work there. They even lived there while they were working on a project. They had a park for the kids and a swimming pool that I would go to every day in the summer. You felt like you were in a safe area, there were guards. Little did anyone know it wasn't really healthy to be there.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Man has blown it with all the industrial stuff. We need to back off, and start fixing it. All scientists and their employers should spend 100% or their efforts towards making our planet safer. From now on.

    • WindorSolarPlease

      Hi TheBigPicture

      Sounds like the right thing to do.

      However, where is there a profit in this..(sarc)

  • 16Penny 16Penny

    You guys don't know good when you see it.

    Having the geology hydraulically fractured deep below your house: Zero Dollars

    Sleeping comfortably in your bed as gasses released by fracking permeate the land for miles around your house: Also zero dollars

    Seeing the look on your neighbors face when you fuel up from your garden hose: . . . Priceless

    GO Fracking!

    But really, a car that ran on just clean water would be much cooler.

    • WindorSolarPlease

      16Penny, I can't imagine. Wonder how they would like it around their homes?

      • Thad

        WSP
        Yes there are innocent neighbors BUT remember the oil companys can not drill and frack with out a lease of mineral rights from the landowner–
        Some have the idea that oil companys freely run around raping and pillaging the land.. Not quite- the land/ mineral right owner receieves a percent of the profit from the well– paid well for giving the oil companys permission.
        But never is it heard a land owner cursing hinself or being cursed by the neighbor—

      • 16Penny 16Penny

        WSP,

        What some people fail to grasp is that the salesman from the oil/gas companies have been flat out lying to homeowners about the safety of this practice to secure these agreements. Also, what is stopping the oil/gas from under your neighbors yard from coming into yours or vise versa if they are in the same formation?

        Oil shills would like you to believe that it is ok to destroy the environment for profit, that it is ok to lie to property owners and mislead politicians. They have been claiming that this fracking process is safe when they really don't know. They do know it works, is relatively cheap and they have been getting away with it for years. Only recently have there been admissions, I believe in England, about fracking causing earthquakes.

        The problem is that it doesn't just effect the location where the fracturing is done. Once the hydrocarbons are free to move about the geology, they go where they want. They can go up, down, sideways; wherever the least resistance is. You could frack on one side of a state line and gas can permeate the soil on the other side of the state line, possibly in someones yard that isn't getting their polluters kickback check.

        Is it the landowners fault for not researching the risks associated, yes, I think so. It is called due diligence when people and companies fully consider all of the implications of a project. Sure, there may be some companies out there doing that, and even that cannot prevent all accidents.

        • Thad

          16 P
          with all the noise over the last several years about fracking any landowner who sold a lease now pleading ignorance of the possible problems is ignorant by choice. Deafened and blinded by money-
          Does not really matter what the oil company was peddling — it is what the landowner wants to buy that is the decider
          The oil company lease buyer does not do it at gun point—
          State lease laws– oil companies can not directly produce from lands they do not a lease to — there is also rules about about how close to lease boundries they can operate.
          That is not saying that fracking effects entering a formation or aquifer can't show miles away.,

  • No new laws or regulations are required. All of this is already illegal, but politicians have other priorities, like:
    * protecting their friends, like Jon Corzine
    * running guns to Mexico
    * importing drugs from Afghanistan
    * destroying the economy
    * taking your civil liberties

  • Thad

    We are stuck with oil and it's infrastructure- we fight they and their pollutions, their over reach into the government. And we campaign for alternatives– time to nake the best of a bad deal

    CONTROL FUEL PRICES- say it loud and politicians of both parties go into panic mode.
    It can be, should be and needs to be done. The US is now and has been for some time an exporter of oil. The government through law could set a benchmark price on oil for domestic use. Price below exports allowed- prices at or above exports curtailed. Simple. Good for the people, good for the economy.. The oil companies will cry BUT they made profits in 2008 at $2.00/ gal gasoline they would still make a profit. Other exporting countries control domestic fuel cost with same or similar system– and it works.

    Please share- copy to ALL the politicians..

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-29/u-s-was-net-oil-product-exporter-in-2011.html