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Texas Brine promises cooperation over sinkhole

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GONZALES - Representatives from Texas Brine said today the company is doing everything it can to ease concerns about a sinkhole on their property in Assumption Parish.

Experts believe an unused brine operation in a salt dome beneath the sinkhole is the cause.  Parish leaders said the company had until Monday to file a permit to drill down into the cavern and give scientists a better idea about what was going on.  If they don't file by Monday, they will be fined $5,000 a day.

Spokesperson Mark Cartwright said they'll hit that deadline.

"We expect to have a drilling permit, a location selected, and a drilling rig selected. Maybe to the extent we're actually mobilizing in the field," he said today.

The company also said today they believe the sinkhole could have been prevented, and claims two weeks ago they alerted the Department of Natural Resources of problems the well experienced in 2010 and 2011.

"We had some comfort after that meeting that we didn't think we had, number one, a relationship to what was going on; and number two, the risk of anything happening as it occurred on Friday," Cartwright said.

Now they're working to get answers, for those forced from their homes.

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