Louisiana Legislators Seek to Improve Salt Mine Oversight

Last August, a 13 acre sinkhole (called the Assumption Parish's sinkhole) forced over 350 residents to be evacuated from their homes over the following seven months after the disaster. The cause of the sinkhole, investigators claim, was a result of a failed Texas Brine Co. LLC cavern underneath the ground. In order hopefully prevent another incident taking place like this against in Louisiana, lawmakers are working to create new rules to not only prevent incidents like this from occurring again but also to warn property owners of the possible dangers that lie in waiting before they decide to buy.

The Assumption Parish sinkhole was a direct correlation with a collapsed salt cavern below the ground, and four Louisiana legislators are seeking to stop salt mining permit operations in the area. This legislation also includes limiting the reuse of underground stage caverns after a disaster has occurred (in this case with a sinkhole), as well as implementing a new mapping and monitoring system that will regularly keep tabs on the sites and execute fines on those for noncompliance with the new regulations.

As stated, there were over 350 residents who were forced to evacuate their 150 properties just south of Baton Rouge, and even though this disaster was in August, they have not yet been allowed to return to their homes; even this many months later. According to reports, many of these victims are seeking settlements or buyouts with the Texas based company responsible for the salt mines; though that sadly won't being back their homes.

Because of these very real dangers that are present, the legislators are seeking to do whatever they can to create a safe environment for their people, and one specific rule they are seeking to implement is the fact that all potential owners must be warned ahead of time about their home being near or on a salt dome or storage cavern of some sort. The Department of Natural Resources states that in the state of Louisiana alone there are 120 reported salt domes, and 270 solution mine caverns; 50 of which remain unused.

While there are some residents in eh area who chose to remain in their homes despite the evacuation order (about 50 or so), the legislators state that something needs to be done, and one catastrophe is enough for this area, and this cavern needs to be banned from further usage. Another bill that was recently passed in order to address this same issue raised the noncompliance fee from $5,000 per day to $32,000 for every day that these companies fail to bring their sites up to safety standards.

In the event that you or your family has been injured because of a disaster such as this, contact your trusted Shreveport injury attorney at Simmons, Morris & Carroll, LLC today. We will do whatever we can to help you fight for the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

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