Lacassine Waste Facility's future plans may help area odor problem

Lacassine Waste Facility's future plans may help eliminate odors

LACASSINE, LA (KPLC) - "We dispose and treat BMP waste through land forming and injection wells" said district manager of MBO Lacassine Waste Facility, Phil Thibodeaux.

Over the years, Thibodeaux and residents of the surrounding community have tried to reach a balance on understanding the inevitable odor problem that comes from the waste facility.

"It's real bad" said Iowa resident, Kim Faul.  "When they start stirring all that stuff up it's real bad.  It has a real bad gas and diesel smell and it gives us headaches" she said.

A solution, although not immediate, may be on the way.  Thibodeaux plans to apply for a permit to drill another injection well to help sort distilled water quicker.

"All the water that hits our facility... rain water, whatever it is, is discharged through one of our two injection wells and we're in the process now of trying to permit another injection well" said Thibodeaux.

In turn, he hopes that will help eliminate the odor problem.

"It will have a positive effect for the simple fact that we'll be able to get rid of the water quicker, eliminate odors quicker and treat our material faster" he said.

According to Thibodeaux, injection wells work like oil wells.  But instead of pumping oil out of the ground, the injection wells put the water back into the ground.  Water that's left after separating chemicals and resellable oils from the waste.

"Our two injection wells that we have now in operate are about 3600 feet deep and we're wanting to permit to about 6200 feet on our next injection well" said Thibodeaux.

Thibodeaux says they are still in the planning stages of applying for the permit, a process that the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources says could take up to three months.

"The general rule is to work on applications in the order that they're received" said Assistant Director of Injection and Mining, Laurence Bland.  "Then they'd go through the engineering review which would be the actual design and construction of the well" he said.

While waste facilities are in some cases necessary, residents like Faul think...

"It's got it's good and it's got it's bad. We have to find a place for stuff like this but it doesn't need to be on top of the ground" she said.

Before a permit is granted, the facility will have to formally announce their plans in the community newspaper.  Once that happens, there will be a period of 15 days that the community has to raise any issues they have with the plans.  Then, the Department of Natural Resources can move forward with the permit application process.

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