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Plans to drill for brine cause fears about sinkhole in Iberville Parish

1 year 5 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, April 26 2016 Apr 26, 2016 April 26, 2016 7:01 PM April 26, 2016 in News
Source: WBRZ

WHITE CASTLE- More than 150 residents in Iberville Parish are on edge, fearing an environmental disaster. This comes after they received letters in the mail recently saying a company is planning to drill wells for brine production.

Many are having flashbacks to the Bayou Corne sinkhole that emerged not far from the proposed drilling site.

Tim Richard has spent the past 22 years in his home just outside the White Castle City limits. He had a flashback of fear, after reading a letter he received from the Iberville Parish President, Mitch Ourso. The letter states, "Shintech Louisiana, LLC is seeking permits from the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Office of Conservation, to drill additional wells for brine production to supply its facility located off River Road in Plaquemine."

"I'm just concerned who's going to overlook this," Richard said. "Who's going to follow the real rules of doing this what they are supposed to do," Richard asked.

Iberville Parish President Mitch Ourso said the fear in the community is why he organized a meeting between Shintech leaders and people who live in a five-mile radius of the property where the proposed drilling would occur.

"There's a salt dome from what I understand inside that current property," Ourso said. "What you do is drill into that salt dome to get the brine out which is a critical part of their operations at the Plaquemine site."

Ourso hopes the meeting scheduled for Thursday night will quell the fear in the community.

"I don't want to subsidize people's health and welfare for industry," Ourso said. "That's why it's important for me to make sure these people don't have any fear or anything."

But, for people like Richard, the fear is already here.

"I'm just trying to figure out what's going to happen," Richard said. "That someone is going to oversee this that they are supposed to oversee."

The meeting will be held at Chateau Blanc located at 34625 KC Drive, White Castle, LA 70788 on Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016 at 6:30pm.

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