Figures show 12 other salt caverns with thin walls
BATON ROUGE - At least 12 salt-dome caverns in Louisiana are as close to the edge of their supporting underground formations as the one that collapsed last year and caused a huge sinkhole in Assumption Parish.
Data given to The Advocate by the state shows those 12 caverns, along with 15 others, would violate proposed rules mandating a buffer zone to ensure caverns are structurally sound.
Scientists believe the Texas Brine Co. mined too close to the outer edge of the salt dome. The wall failed, creating the sinkhole and freeing oil and natural gas from underground deposits.
Marylee Orr of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network said she's concerned about the number of caverns with thin walls.
State officials say there's no indication of problems like those that caused the Assumption failure.