from Department of Natural Resources – Louisanna
JOHN ROGERS SMITH
Randall J. Charbeneau, Ph.D.
Professor – Jewell McAlister Smith Professor in Engineering – Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research, UT System
More sinkhole methane safety precautions ordered
November 13, 2012
In another attempt to protect security human rights of Assumption Parish people in the vicinity of the Louisiana state emergency sinkhole disaster, Louisiana state officials on Monday issued more orders to Texas Brine Co. LLC to minimize risks of potential exposure to natural gas under the Bayou Corne community where the large sinkhole has reached the size of seven football fields.
“The steps outlined in this directive will give us an added layer of protection in ensuring public safety and move the response effort closer to bringing the lives of the residents of the Bayou Corne area back to normal,” Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Conservation Commissioner James Welsh said in a news release about the unprecedented sinkhole disaster event.
The community, increasingly plagued with methane gas leaks and earthquakes, has been under a mandatory evacuation order for over 100 days. Louisiana is under a declared state of emergency due to the Bayou Corne sinkhole disaster.
Also last week, a new published report showed the drilling wells can cause earthquakes, human-made quakes, and the strongest of such quakes are associated with deep-injection wastewater disposal wells.
Few experts dispute that this oil and gas industry-related disaster is a man-made one. The state office that issues oil and gas drilling and storage permits, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), blames Houston-based Texas Brine company for the sinkhole, methane leaks and seismic activity.
Mystery explosion shatters windows, lights sky in Louisiana
Published October 16, 2012
Story updated: An editor’s note appears at the end of this story.
Meteor or munitions? What happened in Webster Parish?
According to numerous reports, a loud boom was heard in a secluded area of the Louisiana parish, leading Sheriff Gary Sexton to tell a local television station that they “definitely had something happen” Monday night.
Area resident Shana Levick told KSLA 12 that she saw the sky light up a bright orange color, and observed “fire sparks” above the tree line. The boom reportedly shook trees and citizens out of bed and shattered windows during the night as well, leading to speculation that it was the sound of impact from a meteor.
This was no meteor, however. The National Weather Service branch office in Shrevesport, La., said the sound was a massive explosion at a munitions recycling factory.
“Monday night at around 11:26 pm, a large explosion occurred to the southwest of Dixie Inn, in Webster Parish, approximately 4 miles southwest of Minden, or 28 miles east of Shreveport … in the borders of the Camp Minden Army ammunition plant,” the weather service said.
The Weather Service captured images of the staggering explosion on its Doppler Radar system, and posted a report about it online. “Based on radar analysis, the plume was initially as high as almost 7,200 feet above ground level.”
The agency said the radar imagery is similar to that usually seen with smoke plumes associated with wildfires.
Due to an editing error, a previous version of this story incorporated information from a wire service report about a similar explosion that occurred several years earlier. The incident on Monday, which occurred at night, did not impact the Webster Parish Schools, or the students of the schools.
Sinkhole: H-Bomb explosion equivalent in Bayou Corne possible
A possible breach of a butane-filled well 1500 feet from Bayou Corne’s sinkhole, the size of three football fields, is so “very serious,” it has Assumption Parish sheriff and local residents ordered to evacuate worried about a catastrophic explosion, one according to scientists in an Examiner investigation, would be in the range of one and a half B83 thermonuclear (hydrogen) bombs, the most powerful United States weapons in active service.
“The disaster is made all the more worrisome because the hole is believed to be close to a well containing 1.5 million barrels of liquid butane, a highly volatile liquid that turns into a highly flammable vapor upon release,” CNN reported Friday about Louisiana’s declared State of Emergency.