The state Department of Natural Resources says is has approved a drilling permit for a relief well near a massive sinkhole in Assumption Parish.
DNR Secretary Stephen Chustz says Houston-based Texas Brine Co. will drill into a brine cavern the company owns in the Napoleonville salt dome.
Scientists believe the cavern may be the cause of the sinkhole, which opened 10 days ago. Officials say they hope the relief well will reveal possible structural damage to the cavern.
Conservation Commissioner Jim Welsh ordered the company to drill the well. Texas Brine has said it will set up a fund to assist residents; about 150 homes and several businesses have been evacuated as a precaution.