Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality continues to monitor Bayou Corne Sinkhole as hole expands.
By Wilma Subra
Subra Company/Louisiana Environmental Action Network/Lower Mississippi River Keeper
The Assumption Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness has reported a series of expansions of the Bayou Corne sinkhole in recent days. Land and trees continue to disappear as the sinkhole grows in size.
September 20, 2012: Approximately 25′ of embankment on the east side fell into the sinkhole.
September 18, 2012: Texas Brine reported a slough-in of approximately 200′ of embankment at the sinkhole.
September 17, 2012: Texas Brine reported a 20′ x 20′ growth of the sinkhole.
Volatile Organic Compounds at Bayou Bubbling Sites
The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) sampled the air in the area of the Bayou Bubbling sites for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). The data consist of sampling from September 7, 2012 through September 16, 2012.
Volatile Organic Chemicals were detected at the bubbling locations on September 11, 2012 and September 14, 2012. The monitoring data for the other dates were none detected for the Volatile Organic Compounds.
Volatile Organic Compounds:
|1||0.9 ppm||0.2 ppm|
|2||0.2 ppm||N. D.|
|3||0.6 ppm||0.2 ppm|
|4||0.2 ppm||0.4 ppm|
|5||0.2 ppm||0.3 ppm|
|6||0.9 ppm||N. D.|
|7||0.8 ppm||0.1 ppm|
|8||0.5 ppm||0.2 ppm|
|9||0.6 ppm||N. D.|
|10||0.9 ppm||N. D.|
N. D. – None Detect
Bubbling location 4 is on Grand Bayou, 1,800 feet south of Bubbling location 1.
Volatile Organic Compounds at Monitoring Locations in the Bayou Corne Area
Volatile Organic Compounds (ppm):
|117 Sportsman Way||0.3||0.1||0.1|
|133 Sportsman Way||0.1||0.1|
|153 Sportsman Way||0.1||0.3|
|1451 Hwy 70||0.4||0.3|
|Hwy 70 & Gumbo St.||0.6|
|Hwy 70 & Well Head Road||0.6||0.1|
|Hwy 70 & Crosstex Gate||0.2||0.3||0.1|
|Gator Stop & Hwy 69||0.3||0.2||0.1||0.3||0.2|
|1130 Hwy 70||0.3||0.6||0.1||0.4|
Sludge Material Floating on Surface of Sink Hole
On September 8, 2012, DEQ sampled the sludge material floating on the surface of the sink hole. The material consisted of 48.1 % Diesel Range Organics and 15% Oil Range Organics.
State of Louisiana data shows that hydrocarbons in the sink hole sludge are dangerously elevated, while radiation levels exceeded background by only a small amount. Based on this limited testing, this sinkhole sludge is a hazard because of the presence of the diesel fuel, which can contaminate air and groundwater. Hydrocarbon levels may also be in the flammable range.