Bayou Corne, drilling waste fluids, EPA, false statements, fraud, hydraulic fracturing, injection well, ISL, ISR, Joseph S. Ball Jr., LA Dept. of Natural Resources, Louisiana Dept of Natural Resources Injection and Mining, Mark J. Cartwright, mechanical integrity test, Natural Resources, NORM, North Dakota, Obstruction, oil and gas, produced water, radioactive waste, Safe Drinking Water Act, salt storage, State of Louisiana, TENORM, Texas Brine, Texas Brine-Bayou Corne Sinkhole Disaster, toxic metals, United Brine Service, uranium mining, WIPP
The Felony charges are against a “brine” injection well operator in North Dakota. But, meanwhile, in Louisiana, the Texas Brine-Bayou Corne Sinkhole Disaster is still going, three years on,
and still showing the dangerous stupidity of putting waste water, petroleum, and especially radioactive waste in salt. Salt “caverns” are imploding. The US and Germany refuse to look the facts in the face and still pretend salt storage of radioactive waste is ok. There is also a higher risk with anything underground, inaccessible. One day WIPP nuclear waste facility may look like Bayou Corne. WIPP is more arid but there’s still water and still problems of internal collapse since the beginning. Three Year update on Bayou Corne at 17 min: http://video.lpb.org/video/2365538299/ (7.31.15) Updates as news arrives: https://lasinkhole.wordpress.com
Radioactive materials are constantly brought up by the oil and gas industry, and to an even greater degree by ISL uranium mining, and something must be done with them. You don’t get these problems with solar, wind, or biofuels:
“The well, …. received “produced water” constituting “brine and other wastes” commonly and generically referred to as “saltwater.” “Saltwater” in this context covers a wide array of drilling waste fluids, including hydraulic fracturing fluid, which is water combined with chemical additives such as biocides, polymers and “weak acids.” The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stressed that this water is often saltier than seawater and can “contain toxic metals and radioactive substances.” (USDOJ)
There is apparently legal aquifer pollution and illegal pollution. The ISL (ISR) uranium mines also either use injection wells or spray deadly radium on the ground or both. Most geology is complex; most leaks; pumping makes for instability; pressure makes things worse.
Where are the felony charges in the Louisiana case? As a letter at the bottom of this post suggests, the instability was known over a year before the implosion started.
From the USDOJ:
“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 24, 2015
Former Saltwater Disposal Well Operator Indicted in North Dakota on Multiple Felony Charges
Jason A. Halek, 41, of Southlake, Texas, was indicted in federal court in Bismarck, North Dakota, on 13 felony charges stemming from the operation of a saltwater disposal well near Dickinson, in Stark County, North Dakota, the Justice Department announced.
Halek was charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the Safe Drinking Water Act and defraud the United States. He was also charged with four counts of violating the Safe Drinking Water Act, four counts of making false statements and four counts of obstructing grand jury proceedings.
The well, named the Halek 5-22, received “produced water” constituting “brine and other wastes” commonly and generically referred to as “saltwater.” “Saltwater” in this context covers a wide array of drilling waste fluids, including hydraulic fracturing fluid, which is water combined with chemical additives such as biocides, polymers and “weak acids.” The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stressed that this water is often saltier than seawater and can “contain toxic metals and radioactive substances.”
Previously, on Sept. 26, 2014, Nathan Garber pleaded guilty to multiple felony counts relating to the well.
“Our nation’s energy independence and security is enhanced by the safe, responsible, and lawful extraction of domestic energy, but it is undermined when laws are abused in a race to profit,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The American people expect nothing less than legal behavior from those involved in oil and gas development and the Justice Department will vigorously prosecute those who do not honor this obligation.”
“Oil and gas production must be safe and legal every step of the way, including the treatment and disposal of drilling byproducts,” said Assistant Administrator Cynthia Giles for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “People who deliberately violate rules that protect drinking water from contamination put communities at risk. These charges show that EPA takes this very seriously and will hold violators accountable.”
According to the indictment, Halek conspired with others, including Garber, in a number of coordinated and illegal acts, including injecting saltwater into the well without first having the state of North Dakota witness a test of the well’s integrity and continuing to inject saltwater after failing a Feb. 2, 2012 pressure test. Halek is also charged under the Safe Drinking Water Act with injecting fluids down the “annulus” or “backside” of the well in violation of the well’s permit which required that fluids be injected through the tubing.
Further, Halek is charged with telling Garber to move a device called a “packer” up the wellbore in violation of the well’s permit, without first getting approval from the state. Then, Garber allegedly gave false information to a state inspector regarding the depth of the packer.
Halek is charged with making multiple false statements to the state of North Dakota, including false statements about the depth of the packer. In addition, Halek is charged with obstructing and impeding a grand jury investigation into the matter, by withholding responsive documents and making false statements.
The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division. Significant cooperation was provided by the North Dakota Industrial Commission. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of North Dakota and the Environmental Crimes Section of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws and every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.” http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-saltwater-disposal-well-operator-indicted-north-dakota-multiple-felony-charges
If these people got in trouble for ignoring the mechanical integrity test, what about Texas Brine and the State of Louisiana who appear to have largely ignored the failed Mechanical Integrity Test a little over a year BEFORE the Bayou Corne implosion? WHERE ARE THE FELONY CHARGES AGAINT TEXAS BRINE AND THE STATE OF LOUISIANA?
“In June 2012, residents of Bayou Corne began to notice unusual phenomena; the ground was prone to shaking and bubbles began to arise from the water. The US Geological Survey noted an increase in seismic activity, but could not point to an exact source or cause. The local government sent in experts, who suspected a natural gas pipeline leak, but that assumption proved false. As the symptoms worsened towards the end of July, Texas Brine officially denied the likelihood of a sinkhole. Oxy3 had begun to cave-in.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayou_Corne_sinkhole
OVER ONE YEAR PRIOR TO THE COLLAPSE TEXAS BRINE SEEMS TO HAVE NOTIFIED THE STATE OVER THE RISKS.
https://lasinkhole.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/rad_waste_texbrine.pdf (At link additional pages discuss the injection of radiative NORM back into the caverns from which it presumably came, along with soil.)