Emergency Declaration as to the Stability of Sulphur’s Salt Dome
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards issued an Emergency Declaration as to the stability of Sulphur’s salt dome. Louisiana State Department of Natural Resources officials noted the Emergency Declaration issued for Sulphur’s salt caverns was out of an abundance of caution. However, property owners should know two caverns on the west side of the Sulphur Mine Salt Dome exhibit warning signs that indicate “something is going on down there that we need to get a better understanding of,” per DNR Communications Director Patrick Courreges.
Problems surfaced in early 2023 and initially did not cause much concern. The number of warning signs has caused alarm. While natural gas bubbling up and around the edge of salt domes is natural, signs of caving in are now evident. Once a cave loses its mechanical integrity, it cannot hold pressure.
Many may recall the 2012 collapse of a salt dome in Assumption Parish. Eleven years ago, a video of the massive 25-acre Bayou Corne Sinkhole headlined national news. After residents reported smells of crude oil throughout Bayou Corne then Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal issued an evacuation order on August 3, 2012. The collapse forced crude oil and methane gas upward and ancient sediment and trees began a 750-foot drop. When officials lifted the evacuation in 2016, almost no one returned. Today Bayou Corne has a population of just over a dozen people.
Contact Lundy LLP
If you are a property owner near the Sulphur Mines Salt Dome, call us to speak with one of our environmental lawyers; consultations are free; 337-439-0707.