Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality air monitoring results from the Bayou Corne/sinkhole area.
The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality(LA DEQ) has been performing water and air testing and evaluating the environmental impacts of the gas bubbling and sink hole in the Bayou Corne area associated with the Texas Brine Cavern. The water in the Bayou Corne sink hole is contaminated with salt water, diesel, chemicals associated with the diesel contaminants such as volatile organic chemicals, ethyl benzene, toluene, xylene and a large number of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons such as naphthalene, anthracene, and pyrene.
The air near the sink hole was tested on August 4, 2012. The air was contaminated with volatile organic chemicals, such as benzene, toluene, xylene, ethylbenzene, carbon tetrachloride and a number of other chemicals. The air down wind of the sink hole, at the intersection of LA Highway 70 and Grand Bayou St., was tested on August 6, 2012, and was contaminated with the same volatile organic chemicals as the air in the immediate area of the sink hole.
The air in the residential area, at the intersection of LA Highway 70 and Gumbo began being tested on a daily basis on August 8, 2012. Benzene, a known human cancer causing agent, was detected each day air sampling was performed in the residential area, at the intersection of LA Highway 70 and Gumbo St. On August 13 and 16, 2012, the highest concentrations of Benzene were detected in the residential area, at the intersection of LA Highway 70 and Gumbo St., 0.54 ppbv. The concentrations of benzene detected were below the Louisiana Ambient Air Standard.
The highest level of toluene, ethylbenzene, m,p-Xylene and o-Xylene in the residential air, at the intersection of La Highway 70 and Gumbo St. also occurred on August 13 (1.28, 0.20, 0.60, and 0.20 ppbv) and 16 (0.70, 0.19, 0.41, and 0.15 ppbv). On August 4, 2012, the concentration of these chemicals in the air were also elevated in the air sample collected near the sink hole (0.83, 0.72, 1.12, and 0.40 ppbv). The concentrations of these chemicals were all below the Louisiana Ambient Air Standards, but were present in each air sampling event.
The air sample collected on August 16, 2012, from the residential area at the intersection of La Highway 70 and Gumbo St. contained the largest number of detectable chemicals which consisted of a number of natural gas components as well as volatile organic chemicals associated with diesel. The air sample contained 0.81 ppbv of 2-Butanone, 1.91 ppbv of Chloromethane, and nine tentatively identified compounds, such as isobutane, 39.06 ppbv, propane, 44.75 ppbv, and 2-methyl pentane 8.09 ppbv.
The health impacts associated with the chemicals detected in the air in the residential area consist of:
-known and possible cancer causing agents
-skin, eye, nose, throat, and lung irritants
-headaches, nausea, vomiting
-muscle aches and pains
The concentrations of the chemicals contaminating the air in the residential area are below acceptable standards. However, the cumulative impacts, of the large number of toxic chemicals detected in the air in the residential area, are worthy of tracking potential health impacts and continued air monitoring.
An odor and symptom log has been developed by Louisiana Environmental Action Network and is available to community members on the LEAN web site:
Please fill out an Odor and Symptom Log each time you smell an odor. The Log can be filled out and submitted online or printed and mailed to:
P.O. Box 66323
Baton Rouge, LA 70896