Letter: Texas Brine’s spin hides truth

Had Texas Brine not been so greedy 32 years ago, and had they listened to the advice of their own consultants who informed them that they were in danger of penetrating the side wall of the Napoleonville Salt Dome by mining below 5000 feet in that particular location, this entire human and environmental catastrophe could have been avoided … Yet, as alleged in Federal Court documents in a complaint against Texas Brine as reported in The Advocate this past November, the company submitted a permit application to the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources requesting mining all the way to 6040 feet. In 2010 they made it all the way to 5654 feet before the solution mining operation blew out the salt into the surrounding strata. This fact was then hidden from the residents of Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou.

Their propaganda letter to the editor also claims that “Texas Brine reached settlements with over 70 percent of the residents” … yet more than half of those who settled were camp owners whom they refused to call “residents” when our parish president forced them to pay all residents in accordance with the permit condition that they had signed 30 years ago. I personally witnessed their spokesperson at the church hall browbeating my friends and neighbors eliminating those who owned camps and claiming that they were “non-residents” so Texas Brine could get away with paying them NOTHING … yet now, their claim is that they are in fact residents so that Texas Brine can include them in their inflated numbers of settled claims ... so which are they? Residents as they now claim, or non-residents as they claimed in September of 2012?

By the way, we all agree that they are residents ... and we also agree that Texas Brine owes them many months of evacuation support back pay.

Our only question is to the State of Louisiana why are these incompetents still allowed to retain any permits to operate in this great state? And to the editors of the publications, we understand the need for the media to report a balanced perspective of an issue but as residents of continuous bombardment of lies from Texas Brine we believe an article reporting all information should be shared with the public.

Michael E. Schaff

estimator

Bayou Corne