Bayou Sorrell

Bayou Sorrel is an unincorporated community in Iberville Parish. According to the EPA Superfund Site website, approx. 1,000 residents live in the area around the bayou (EPA Superfund Site). A hazardous waste dump was in operation from 1977-1979. In 1978, a 19 year old truck driver named Kirtley Jackson was killed by hydrogen sulfide gas that formed by the reaction caused by alkaline-spent caustic waste dumped into a pond already full of acid waste (New York Times 1979).

After Jackson’s death, state officials moved to clean up the site using methods such as “enhanced evaporation” and capping several of the ponds (Times Picayune 1991, New York Times 1979). In 1983, residents began to complain of odor coming from the site, and the site was eventually added to the Superfund Site list.

The cleanup process involved one million cubic yards of contaminated soil being reburied, surrounded by a slurry wall, and covered with clay and a plastic liner. Extensive groundwater sampling was completed. The site was removed from the NPL (National Priorities List) in 1997, and the EPA continues to monitor the site. Currently, the area is not in use, except for monitoring and maintenance activities conducted by the EPA & Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (EPA Superfund Site).