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Industry-Caused Sinkhole Expands, Swallowing Trees Whole and Threatening Louisianians
By Laura Beans
Last August, a toxic sinkhole was discovered in the swampland of Bayou Corne, LA, 40 miles south of Baton Rouge. More than a year later the sinkhole continues to expand, and has now been measured at 24 acres across, eight times its original size. The Assumption Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness was able to capture the gurgling crater in action on this recent video, as it devours whole trees, sucking them down into its watery depths.
Texas Brine, a Houston-based petrochemical company, is being held responsible for the disaster after one of its salt mines collapsed. The company excavates for salty brine, which is used in in the refining processing of petrochemicals in facilities nearby.
The state of Louisiana is suing Texas Brine for environmental damage. As Julie Dermansky writes on DeSmogBlog, citizens have either accepted buyouts or joined a class action lawsuit against the company. The area has been under mandatory evacuation since Aug. 3, 2012, and no one is sure if it will be safe to inhabit again.
Geologists believe that brine and other liquids were forced vertically out of the salt cavern, fracturing rock toward the surface and causing the sinkhole, reports Mike Ludwig, in Truthout. The collapsing mine ruptured underground oil and natural gas deposits, releasing the hydrocarbons and contaminating the local aquifer.
Texas Brine has not admitted fault, and continually places blame on other factors. Officials from the company call the Bayou Corne sinkhole "unprecedented."
As the anniversary of the sinkhole's discovery comes and goes, the land around it continues to change and shift, and no one knows if this man-made environmental disaster will keep spreading or if it can be stabilized at all.
Visit EcoWatch’s WATER page for more related news on this topic.
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By Ketura Persellin
Global consumption of beef, lamb and goat is expected to rise by almost 90 percent between 2010 and 2050. But that doesn't mean you need to eat more meat. In fact, recent news from Washington gives you even less confidence in your meat: Pork inspections may be taken over by the industry itself, if a Trump administration proposal goes into effect, putting tests for deadly pathogens into the hands of line workers.
‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.