BAYOU CORNE — Residents will hold an emergency town-hall meeting Thursday to encourage state and local officials to provide more information about the sinkhole in northern Assumption Parish and the natural gas releases and earth tremors occurring nearby, a community member said.
The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the St. Joseph the Worker Church parish hall, 3304 La. 70 South, Pierre Part, said John Achee Jr., a community activist, in a news release.
Residents called the meeting because of a lack of information from the Assumption Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Quality and Texas Brine Co., which owns the property where the sinkhole was found, Achee said.
State and local officials and Texas Brine representatives have been invited to attend the meeting, he said.
DNR ordered Texas Brine, which owns a salt cavern suspected to be the cause of the sinkhole, to drill an investigatory well to see what is happening in the cavern hollowed out from the Napoleonville Dome.
The 1- by 3-mile solid salt deposit was pushed toward the Earth’s surface from an ancient sea bed and has been used for decades for brine production and hydrocarbon storage.
DNR officials have said they think the cavern failed, released its brine contents and caused the sinkhole and mysterious bubbles swirling to the surfaces of area bayous.
Tests determined the bubbles contain natural gas.
Tremors that shook the area in the days leading up to the sinkhole formation have recently returned, scientists have said.
Parish officials called for the mandatory evacuation of 150 homes in the Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou areas.