Salt Dome rules to be studied

A House committee Wednesday morning asked the state to study the impact of new rules involving salt dome caverns.

State Rep. Karen St. Germain said she sponsored House Concurrent Resolution 54 to review how well the recently adopted rules are working.

“What they’re doing is just starting,” St. Germain said.

The study will determine what works, what doesn’t, and what else is necessary, then make recommendations for new laws in next year’s legislative session, she said.

The new rules include tighter restrictions on the use of salt domes for brine production and for storage, including public disclosure of such caverns by a sign located at the site of the cavern or facility, and an expanded buffer zone of 500 feet surrounding the facility.

The new rules are the result of the 30-acre Bayou Corne sinkhole in Assumption Parish that formed on Aug. 3, 2012. Salt domes, and there are 28 of them around the state, are used to store waters and other byproducts used in oil and gas drilling and production.