Save Lake Peigneur Inc. members have told Deborah Dupré that foamy bubbles (above) atop the lake have been reported to Louisiana's Department of Natural Resources for years, repeatedly all but dismissed until this week. Photo credit: Save Lake Peigneur
Gas bubbles plague south Louisiana, from Lake Peigneur in Iberia Parish to 50 miles northwest at the historic "sinkhole" area in Assumption Parish. Photo Credit: Assumption Parish
Sheriffs have asked motorists to stay away from Lake Peigneur where Saturday it was reported that lines of foamy bubbles stretch up to 3000 feet long and up to 20 feet wide atop the lake 50 miles from Assumption Parish's giant bubbling "sinkhole" area, now covered with crude oil seeping further into the swampland communties.
"Long straight transparent lines that are anywhere from 15 feet to 3000 feet long and one foot to 20 feet wide that remain in the same spot for hours," Nara Crowley stated in an email Saturday morning.
"A boat can go over the foam/froth and immediately following the boats crossing the line will return. Sometimes we see one gigantic bubble that turns into a frothy foam," Crowley wrote. "Foam comes from bubbling."
Further describing the latest Lake Peigneur incident, Crowley said, "This looks like a pot of spaghetti water boiling over, foamy" compared to swamp methane bubbling that looks like boiling water.
Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office have asked motorists to stay clear of the Lake Peigneur area until the state’s DNR and Department of Environmental Quality assess the bubbling.
For years, Crowley, president of Save Lake Peigneur Inc. and her group have asked Louisiana DNR and other officials to investigate odd bubbling on the lake, and also for an Environmental Impact Statement about proposed expansion of the salt dome facility in the lake.
(See: Bubbling bayous smell of oil mafia. Watch: May 17, 2011 Louisiana DEQ meeting with expert testimony from Save Lake Peigneur)
Crowley and her group have asked AGL Resources to stop the process of expanding their salt dome caverns in the lake until a federal standard EIS is completed.
"Minimizing what is happening in Lake Peigneur is unconscionable," Crowley said.
Thursday, in their battle to save Lake Peigneur, Crowley's group experienced a hard-earned victory: Louisiana’s DNR sent field agents to investigate the bubbling at Lake Peigneur, where natural gas is stored in massive underground caverns in its large salt dome.
“We found foaming residue on the top,” said DNR spokesman Patrick Courreges, who added that the foam “is the result of something happening,” reports the Advocate.
The bubbling atop Lake Peigneur started eight years ago, in the 2005, according to Crowley and her group, who have been reporting it to state officials since then.
Courreges said it is too early to speculate what might be causing the bubbling.
(Watch exclusive Deborah Dupré interview with Nara Crowley on the shore of Lake Peigneur below)
Battle over more drilling, salt dome storage caverns, arsenic contaminating 15-parish aquifer
Residents gathered Wednesday night at a public hearing in New Iberia about the state permitting AGL Resources to expand its salt dome under Lake Peigneur with more caverns.
Jim Brugh, regional manager of Louisiana Water Company, LAWCO, said the company knows of the arsenic plume within the Chicot aquifer east of the company’s wells in New Iberia.
“The company only recently developed a new well field west of the plume that it estimated the arsenic wouldn’t reach for 50 years,” the Daily Iberian reported. With accelerated draw down from AGL Resources, however, Brugh said Wednesday night that they could not be so sure.
“We’re very, very concerned the plume will contaminate the wells,” Brugh said.
Chicot aquifer is the only fresh water source for 15 parishes.
At Wednesday night's hearing, State Sen. Fred Mills, R-Parks questioned the need of caverns versus impact on coastal resources.
Natural gas storage is 16 percent higher than the five-year average while, “our coastal resources are among the most valued in the nation, yet the fastest disappearing on the planet,” Mills said.
"While the company [AGL) continues to disregard these unusual events in the lake and claim they are blameless, the fact is we don't know what is causing this phenomenon," Crowley said Saturday. "What should be paramount to this [company] are the consequences of the catastrophe that will likely occur as a result of their negligence and apathy."
Mills asserted to officials Wednesday evening, “Protect the lake. She has suffered enough.”
So has all of oil-cursed south Louisiana, from its Gulf coast that still suffers from BP's Gulf oil crime up to Assumption Parish battling an uncontrollable oil and gas industry salt dome collapse where the historic giant sinkhole has been expanding for six months.
The latest Assumption Parish flyover of the "sinkhole" shows an alarming expansion after heavy rains have innundated south Louisiana. Such rising water is typical of the area in spring and is expected to continue, possibly joining the "sinkhole" with Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou, both of which feed into Lake Verret in the lower Atchafalaya Basin near Thibodaux and adjoining Pierre Part in Assumption Parish between Hwys 70, 1010, 1, and 398.
Recent photos show the nearly 9-acre "sinkhole" completely covered with crude oil, according toENENEWS.
The crude and gas bubbling there are leaking from unknown sources, according to officials, who have had scientists investigating there since early August when the "sinkhole" was discovered.
Copyright 2013 Deborah Dupré
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