Martha Reclamation Program: Dump and Run

Toxic Soup: Ashland's Radioactive Sludge Pits

Toxic Soup: Radiation at Blaine Elementary School

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Louisiana's New Thingamabob

Here’s some interesting news from Louisiana (hat tip: Elizabeth Burns) about a relatively inexpensive way to measure the spread of brine water in soil in order to determine the extent of pollution from produced water pits.
ExxonMobil and Chevron are both settling cases with the state of Louisiana based on a technology called GEM. This is short for Geophex Electromagnetic Survey. It involves a conductivity probe that measures soil conductivity (more salt = higher conductivity) as you push it into the ground with a hydraulic rig. The probe is connected to a computer so that you can see how deep the salt contamination is in the field as soon as you are done pushing the rod as deep as you want to go. Using this toy, and the GEM, the plumes of open produced water pits are completely mapped before any samples are collected.
An attorney working for the state of Louisiana claims it costs about $1200 to map a pit in an open field.  They use a company called ICON Environmental.  The attorney reports that:
He said you can turn it over to the regulators and watch Chevron and ExxonMobil attempt to clean up produced water pits.
Of course this measurement method assumes produced water was dumped into pits.  In the Martha Oil Field a lot of produced water was just dumped into creeks.  Remember what General Kern called Yatesville Lake: Dead Sea II from all the brine.  Maybe the Commonwealth of Kentucky should be talking to the State of Louisiana
Ashland, clean up your mess!

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