Today, Governor Bobby Jindal issued an Executive Order instructing the Commissioner of Conservation to conduct a complete review of the permits issued to Texas Brine in connection with its operations of salt cavern wells in Assumption Parish, as well as all permits issued to Texas Brine throughout the State.
The review will be conducted in order to determine if Texas Brine's current financial condition indicate that such permit(s) should be modified, revoked and reissued, or terminated.
Governor Jindal said, "It has become clear that Texas Brine is trying to run out the clock on the citizens of Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou by hiding behind insurance companies, lawyers and lobbyists. That is unacceptable. Texas Brine is responsible for the sinkhole, and they need to clean up the mess they've made and do right by the people of Bayou Corne and Grand Bayou by issuing long overdue settlement offers.
"We've heard every excuse in the book, and enough is enough. Texas Brine needs to offer settlements to the residents who want them, and their failure to do so brings into serious question the company's ability to operate in Louisiana moving forward."
Additionally, Governor Jindal has instructed all departments, commissions, boards, offices, entities, agencies, and officers of the State of Louisiana--and any local agencies involved in the sinkhole response--to review and determine whether Texas Brine remains capable of meeting its regulatory obligations.
On March 14, 2013, Texas Brine officials met with State and local officials and pledged to extend settlement offers, including buyouts, to residents forced to evacuate their homes as a result of the threat posed by the sinkhole.
To date, no buyouts have been offered. As of May 16th, Texas Brine has indicated that 110 residents have requested settlement forms; 102 residents have submitted claim information sheets; 97 properties have been inspected; and five properties remain to be inspected.
Texas Brine had committed to issuing settlement offers within 45 days of property inspections. Today, 66 inspected properties have reached the 45-day window. 85 properties will be on the 45th day since inspection on Friday, May 24th, and 87 properties will be on the 45th day since inspection on May 31st.