In the early morning hours of August 3, 2012, and after months of continuous tremors, and ‘bubbling sites’ of ‘swamp gas’, a portion of earth subsided and created what many locals just call, “The Stinkhole” in Bayou Corne, Louisiana operated by Texas Brine, LLC, and leased by and for the usage of the Occidental Chemical Corporation, dubbed in official records as Oxy Geismar #3 brine well.
For months on end residents complained of earthquakes and methane seeps in the swamps, and were told neither existed by the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, and USGS. Stubborn residents insisted differently, which spurred an investigation of the ‘bubble sites’ by the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, and the Department of Environmental Quality, as well as Dr. Stephen Horton of Memphis State University to investigate and confirm resident’s suspicions of earthquakes.
This is by far, not the first incident in this area, known as the Napoleonville Salt Dome, with Gulf South Pipelines, and their Magnolia Operating Facility contained within, and the rest dominated by huge corporate interests, such as Occidental Chemical Corporation, Dow Chemical, Entergy/Koch Bros., Crosstex, Exxon-Mobil, K/D/S Promix, and a bevy of other big names in the pipeline, storage, and production of natural gas, and the drilling of oil and natural gas found in the oil sands surrounding the salt dome.
What many do not realize is that Occidental Chemicals acquired Hooker Chemical, and indeed the ruptured cavern ‘Oxy 3’ was once named ‘Hooker 8’. This is important because neither Hooker Chemical, nor Occidental are strangers to controversy or being entangled in the total destruction of entire communities and shown a total indifference towards the environment and the residential concerns of toxic health effects.
“Ending a 16-year legal case that became synonymous with toxic pollution, the Clinton administration announced Thursday that Occidental Chemical Corp. has agreed to pay $129 million to the federal government for its cost of cleaning up the Love Canal neighborhood near Niagara Falls.”
“For 11 years, beginning in 1942, Hooker Chemical and Plastics Corp., which Occidental purchased in 1968, poured about 20,000 tons of hazardous chemicals into the abandoned canal in upstate New York. Hooker sold its property for $1 in 1953 to the Niagara Falls school board.”
Below is the short story of the Love Canal.
As the good Doctor in Part 2 states, chemical solvents such as benzene, toulene, xylene, are all known cancer causing agents, cause liver disease, and even central nervous system disorders. The same chemicals and so many more have been found in the ‘sinkhole’ and industrial water wells in Bayou Corne, and has been known by the EPA, LDNR, LDEQ,Texas Brine LLC, (which is synonymous with Occidental Chemical Corporation), and all other actors involved, except the residents themselves, for years.
Below is a screen capture of just one page of the Water Well Report:
Many of these high value chemicals are known carcenogens, and according to nearly every resident I have spoken with, reports smelling the gases in the air, as ‘rotten eggs’. “If you smell it, you are inhaling it.” is the general rule.
As one resident that lived through the 2003 Gulf South/Dow methane disaster, and was relocated to Bayou Corne, Shelly Hernandez states, “My mom had seven children, and none of us can conceive..Infertility, cancer..my mom died of cancer…”
Please watch this video to the very end, for what this lady imparts to us all is chilling.
No reports have been found that informs the residents of Assumption Parish exactly what chemicals are emitted from the Lake over the sinkhole, which has now grown to the extent that it is communicating with the whole community via canals, as well as adjacent bayous, but the reports we do have from the industrial water wells tells a horrible story.
The parallels may not seem obvious, but when you have open waters, and pools kept close by the industrial water wells, such as are kept in the general vicinity, and a sinkhole transmitting oil and hydrocarbons, as well as methane, and who knows what else…. then you start to see the harmful health effects that were also suffered by those involved in the Love Canal, and as in the previous 1978 Hooker/Occidental Chem. debacle, are being completely ignored.
It took years before anyone paid attention to the Love Canal tragedy. Can we all in good conscience, ignore the victims of Belle Rose, Bayou Corne, Pierre Part, and possibly even as far as Napoleonville, again?
No matter what anyone may say about President Carter, at least he did not hesitate to declare the ‘Love Canal’ a federal disaster, whereas Obama has basically ignored the newest Love Canal, known as ‘Assumption Parish, La.’ Even the State’s own Governor Bobby Jindal refuses to visit the area, although begged to do so by his constituents, and the mainstream media also refuses to cover this disaster of unknown proportions.
While the rest of the country may be celebrating the holidays and looking forward to the New Year; the residents of Bayou Corne, and Belle Rose, wonder if the New Year will bring some answers and possibly relief, or just more political covering of all posteriors?
Before you dismiss this story as not being relevant to your world and go back to your everyday lives, consider this quote within the LA Times news article above….
“It is an issue with wide impact. The EPA says that one in four Americans, including 10 million children under the age of 12, lives within four miles of a toxic waste dump.”
What is it going to take to get someone to notice the plight of the remaining people, and of the children who wonder if they will even see a New Year?
December 24, 2012 Flyover of Bayou Corne “Oxy 3 Sinkhole” by Wings of Care.
This is Occidental Chemical Corp. and Texas Brine’s answer to the Resident’s that want to escape this nightmare!