Protect Louisiana Citizens from Radioactive Sinkhole

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Target: Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal

Goal: To protect those living near a radium-contaminated sinkhole in Louisiana.

In the rural Louisiana town of Bayou Corne, roughly seventy miles west of New Orleans, a sinkhole has opened that poses a far greater risk than just that which comes from its enormous size (roughly a football field in diameter). This sinkhole has been found to have high levels of naturally occurring radioactive material (known as NORM) from radium in the environment there.

Stanley Waligora, a New Mexico-based radiation protection consultant and leading authority on health risks relating to NORM, confirmed that radium levels discovered in the slurry liquids at the bottom of the sinkhole are fifteen times higher than the acceptable level set by the state. This radium could potentially sink into nearby groundwater where in could pose a threat to livestock as well as human health. Upon discovering this Waligora immediately called for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to launch additional testing to ensure that this hazardous radium is contained, as well as research ways to safely remove it.

Not long after it was also discovered that the sinkhole contained heightened levels of Butane, a highly volatile chemical stored in a cavern near the sinkhole. Despite these mounting safety concerns officials within the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality have thus far elected to ignore the issue entirely. Statements by the DEQ have listed their findings of radium-226 and radium-228 as below acceptable levels, baffling considering both Waligora’s findings and those of a watchdog group known as the Louisiana Environmental Action Network which both indicated those radium levels to be tremendously elevated.

The DEQ must no longer remain in denial about this issue. It must instead conduct a thorough investigation into the heightened radium levels, not only to assess the full scope of the threat posed by the sinkhole, but also to analyze how to safely reduce those radium levels to prevent future contamination. Sign the petition and insist that Louisiana’s governor take action to protect local residents.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Jindal,

An enormous sinkhole that measures larger in diameter than the length of a football field has opened up near the Louisiana town of Bayou Corne roughly seventy miles west of New Orleans. While the size of this sinkhole alone would seemingly necessitate action, an increasing concern stemming from this gaping opening would be that of radiation. This radiation is what is known as naturally occurring radioactive material or NORM. It stems from heightened radium levels being found in the slurry liquids at the bottom of this sinkhole.

An independent New Mexico-based radiation protection consultant and leading authority on health risks relating to NORM named Stanley Waligora confirmed that radium levels discovered at the bottom of the sinkhole are fifteen times higher than the acceptable level set by the state. This radium could potentially seep out into nearby groundwater where it could pose a tremendous threat to the health of humans as well as livestock in the area. Upon discovering this Waligora immediately called for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to launch additional testing to ensure that this hazardous radium is contained, as well as research ways to safely remove it.

Compounding the issue is the fact that soon after it was also discovered by a different group known as the Louisiana Environmental Action Network when testing the area that the sinkhole contained heightened levels of Butane, a highly volatile chemical stored in a cavern near the sinkhole. These mounting safety concerns have so far been ignored by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, who instead elected to list their findings of radium-226 and radium-228 as below acceptable levels.

This is troubling considering both Waligora’s findings and those of the Louisiana Environmental Action Network. Both independent studies indicated those radium levels to be tremendously elevated. The Department of Environmental Quality must no longer remain in denial about this issue. It must instead conduct a thorough investigation into the heightened radium levels not only to assess the full scope of the threat posed by the sinkhole, but also to analyze how to safely reduce those radium levels to prevent future contamination.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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