Department of Natural Resources

Workers have completed a dredging project designed to improve water quality in the Atchafalaya Basin.

The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday that the dredging work is designed to move freshwater from the Atchafalaya River into a swamp within the Attakapas Island Wildlife Management Area in St. Mary Parish.

DNR says the $184,000 project will improve water quality off the east bank of the river near Grand Lake.

The Atchafalaya Basin Technical Advisory Group approved the project.

State approves permit for sinkhole relief well

Aug 14, 2012

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.

ASSUMPTION PARISH — State and local officials are investigating whether an orphaned well may be the source of natural gas bubbling up from the surfaces of Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou in northern Assumption Parish.

Parish officials said Tuesday the well is in swampland about 1,000 feet from the main bubbling area in Bayou Corne, The Advocate (http://bit.ly/PEW2Z5) reports.

ASSUMPTION PARISH — A top geologist at the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources says bubbling gas in bayous in Assumption Parish may be connected to a salt dome deep underground.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/LsftDK) that Madhurendu Kumar, director of DNR's geological oil and gas division, told residents last week that gas that has collected in pockets of a fault along the Napoleonville Dome could be being released naturally.

The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources says an agreement with the St. Martin Parish School Board has been hammered out to save 640 acres of cypress and hardwood forest under threat of being logged in the Atchafalaya basin.

The school board had allowed the tract to be logged but environmental groups recently intervened and threatened to sue. The lawsuit prompted DNR's conservation plan, according to Dean Wilson, the head of the Atchafalaya Basinkeeper.

Environmentalists oppose cypress logging in south Louisiana because the trees are so hard to grow back.