(NOTE TO RETURNING READERS, THE UPDATE REBUTTAL IS HIGHLIGHTED IN BOLD LETTERS BELOW)
A truly shocking revelation has been uncovered in SONRIS files concerning the fragile and ‘too close to salt edge’, Occidental Geismar #1, as well as four other caverns on the east side of Grand Bayou.
Last week, it was revealed that Oxy #1 was found to be in potential jeopardy and possible collapse since it lies within 1-200 ft. from the Salt Dome’s edge.
Although no real shock to those in the know, what else was found regarding Occidental-Geismar #1 Cavern, turned out to be a real electrifying revelation.
Many community meetings have been held in Assumption Parish with the residents affected by the ‘Great Louisiana Sinkhole’ formed by the failure of Oxy-Geismar #3 salt cavern known to be on the edge of the Napoleonville Salt Dome, by Texas Brine and the Owner of the actual cavern itself, Occidental Chemical Corporation. Although asked about the possible NORM contained by other caverns, no real answers were forthcoming. Now we understand why this was never answered.
Buried deep within the bowels of SONRIS at LDNR and in a well file relating to Gulf South #1 failed cavern that terrorized the community of Grand Bayou in 2003, were documents relating to Texas Brine and Occidental’s dealings with James Welsh concerning the disposal of ‘calcium and magnesium brine precipitates’, later changed to ‘brine sludge’, and both terms meaning Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials, (NORM), and the injection of these materials back into the caverns in which they were produced.
In a letter dated July 8, 1991, James Welsh in responding to a May 1, and May 29 requests for NORM to be put back into the following Well(s), Serial #’s 142315, 109979, 110339, 151645, and were not only given permission by then Mining Director Welsh to inject, but additionally informed they would have no problems with continuing Class III brine mining from these same caverns but would also have no problem being permitted for Class II Storage Wells if asked for in the future.
Then in 1994, another set of letters concerning NORM passed between Bill Walters at LDNR and Jim McCartney of Texas Brine requesting Well(s) Serial #’s, 109979 again, 151645 again, and 142316, be injected once more, and was again answered by Mr. Welsh on August 23, 1994, and informed that
Even more disturbing is that this time Texas Brine proposed a Solka Floc system that would prepare the NORM to be re-injected into the above documented caverns, thereby transforming the NORM into Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials, (TENORM), and the Department of Environmental Quality passed it without question, and with only a sketch to go by; with no plans to follow up after construction, before introducing said materials into the caverns, and all unconcerned that these Wells remained Class III brine mining wells, while at the same time, being used for radioactive sludge waste injection caverns.
Before I go further, I feel it is incumbent upon me to inform you, the reader, that not once, but twice OXY GEISMAR #1 is proposed for these TENORM injections, as evidenced by Serial Number 151645, which turns out to be the very cavern that is now suspected of being mined too close to the edge of the Salt Dome, and could potentially fail. I would also like to point out this was done at a time when it was illegal under any circumstances to place any radioactive materials into salt caverns of any kind.
I submit this fact was known far ahead of time as submitted in earlier articles, but further evidence has come to light supporting such a supposition.
On August 25, 2012 and only three weeks after the OXY GEISMAR #3 cavern had collapsed, Occidental and Texas Brine sent in a team to immediately perform a SONAR scan of Oxy Geismar #1 and of no other caverns as shown in these pictures provided by LDNR.
These pictures and the SONAR of Oxy Geismar #1 screams that Occidental and Texas Brine had reason to be alarmed that this particular cavern might breach out, as opposed to say, Oxy Geismar #2, located directly behind the failed Cavern 3.
This is very disturbing news indeed. Although not a conspiracy minded person…I must admit this smacks of conspiracy and of an on-going coverup.
I do not state this lightly, as Occidental and Texas Brine side-stepped these issues before when questions arose concerning the presence of NORM in Oxy-Geismar #3 by stating that in 1995 they received permission from LDNR, but not from LDEQ. That really seems disingenious in the extreme, considering the Louisiana Dept. of Environmental Quality, Linda Levy, gave full permission in 1994, as did James Welsh, of LDNR Director of Injection and Mining Division, for the TENORM injection of waste materials into 5 other caverns.
If there is even a way for these obviously corrupt corporations and the State Agencies charged with the Safety of the Public Health and Welfare of the People of Louisiana, to weasel their way from under these allegations, then these questions still remain…. If in 1991 there was enough NORM for four wells, and in 1994, enough existed for three more wells, and then with just an average of 20 cu. ft. of NORM that was to be placed in Oxy #3, then we have 160 cu. ft.of radioactive materials floating around in limbo whether just underground in the Solka Floc system and a ‘Tank’, or laying in piles all over the dome, with the many other wells on the Dome, is also the potential for 1000’s of Feet of Radioactive Materials in unknown locations exposed to the elements, or as stated in the above letters; re-injected into caverns, where they could be pumped out to an end producer for potcarb including nutrition supplements for dairy cattle, video glass for television and computer monitors, other specialty glass, potassium silicates, fertilizers, gas processing, industrial intermediaries, photographic development processes, detergents, and food products, such as the Occidental-Geismar Chemical Plant in Geismar. Louisiana, or to Dow, which uses the chlorides for many end user products, such as plastics, and a host of other end user products that could be on a Store Shelf near you.
None of us ever to expected our Bagged Fertilizers, nor our Chlorox type cleaners, to actually glow in the dark. Not stating they are, but it is a valid question.
If this does not spark an investigation by the Federal Government, then what on earth ever will? Raw Milk?
REBUTTAL TO MR. BRUCE MARTIN OF TEXAS BRINE
Apparently the very next day after this article was released Texas Brine, LLC Spokesman, Bruce Martin made a Public Statement concerning NORM injections into Oxy Geismar 1 and 3. Mr. Martin claims no injections ever took place.
(Please go to 4 mins, and 30 seconds of this video to listen to Mr. Martin’s reply.)
According to Mr. Martin, ‘Brine Precipitates’ fell out of the wellheads of Oxy 3 and another at Chacahoula. Just fell out. Huh?
He explains they were so out of touch, they hadn’t a clue what they were looking at… Is that credible? More importantly, is that “Responsible Care”?
He then goes on to explain that you should take his word that over a five year period, 1990, 1991, 1994, and 1995, each citing different Caverns for disposal; (see documents below), that Texas Brine only sought permits to what they stated as their goal of action, and that was re-injecting NORM into SIX (6) different caverns on JUST THE NAPOLEONVILLE SALT DOME.
After multiple incidents, and to remind you of just one, Texas Brine employees did not follow State Issued Orders to alert (well) anyone that they had H2S coming from the failed well over the top of the caprock. Nor do they inform the local residents already in a State Declared Emergency and Disaster Area, of when slough-ins, ‘burps’, seismic activities, or methane or ‘Big Gulps’ of water take place until three, four days, and sometimes even longer periods of time, as evidenced by the latest revelations at the Senate Hearing, that three more acres were lost in one week, and looks to exceed their projected expansion totals they have touted for so many months as the maximum size of the ‘sinkhole’.
We have WRITTEN and DOCUMENTED PROOF of their INTENT, yet, Mr. Martin wants us to take his WORD. Not good enough. Where is the documentation PROVING that none of the materials in question were not re-injected, and if so, then please show documentation detailing where it did go, or was it allowed to stay onsite to endanger the workers until it’s radioactivity dropped to a ‘safe level’. The PEOPLE have a right to know!!!
To top it off, Mr, Martin goes on to plead IGNORANCE of TENORM, which is dealt with in Texas Brine Waste Disposal Wells in Texas, and yet he has no knowledge of what that is, although in a fact sheet issued to all companies on a yearly basis that have even ancillary issues dealing with the said mined materials.
Anytime human activities allow a build up of naturally occurring radioactive materials, then it is considered TENORM, as explained in the article above with a link to EPA web based documents released to Industry Officials. Texas Brine is a Mining Company, so therefore are recipients of these EPA materials. Essentially, Mr. Bruce Martin is admitting he doesn’t do his job very well, and isn’t qualified as a mining engineer, nor even qualified as a safety director. Quite an admission.
This leads to the Solka Floc slurry system issue and one that is the most disturbing of the documents uncovered, as they pertain to a system of piping between wells and a tank system to slurry any NORM/TENORM materials prior to re-injecting into the wells, essentially ensuring that they would not precipitate to the bottom of the caverns, and possibly eject out into product so that all evidence would be erased that it even existed.
The point here is not so much what Texas Brine wanted, but what then Director of Injection Mining for the State of Louisiana was willing to allow, without any notice whatsoever to the communities surrounding this Salt Dome, and the great lengths Mr. Welsh went to, to stress that it was no big deal… “Do It!” All without any oversight or further reporting, and this from LDEQ and LDNR as well.
The question again remains, what is the disposition of NORM/TENORM precipitated from ALL CAVERNS on the Napoleonville Salt Dome? Where are these vast amounts of radiological materials going? How were they disposed of in the last 50 years? SHOW THE EVIDENCE! NO ONE TRUSTS YOUR WORDS! Again, the People have a right to know!
Source File: Start at Page 176-188 of the Gulf South #1 Well History File.
IN HOUSE SOURCE: Gulf SouthTexas Brine