Facts From Our Louisiana Environmental Organization to Save Our CoastClean Water, Land & Coast

Louisiana Coastal Environmental Facts

What Big Oil & Gas Knew and When They Knew It:

Use of Unlined Pits

April 2, 1932

Division of Production

In 1932 the oil companies knew that using unlined pits were going to contaminate soil and ground water.

Intentional Contamination of Groundwater

October 4-7, 1970

Society of Petroleum Engineers or Aime

The Oil Companies’ trade organizations  continued to warn against the use of unlined pits, but the oil companies ignored the warnings.

Department of the Interior

June, 1929

Department of the Interior

Oil industry knew the consequences of dumping toxic waste on our precious soil and coast.

Shell Oil Company

October 12, 1979

Shell Oil Company

A 1979 internal memo from Shell Oil Company’s regarding their Coastal Division’s use of earthen pits for waste containment. They acknowledge the waste handling was careless and that there was no economic incentive to maintain them.
They also are aware that the Office of Conservation was slack with enforcement, which was beneficial in the short term, but that could result in further indifference in maintaing the pits. “Cost saving realized int he past may have to repaid at exceedingly high interest rates.”


May 6, 1982

TexacoA 1982 internal memo detailing the complaints of landowners concerning the poor maintenance of the surface of their property.  The complaints were found to be valid.


August 30, 1984

AmocoA 1984 memo regarding stricter regulations on maintaining drilling pits.


March 27, 1986

UnocolBeginning in 1986, Unocal discussed the cost of cleaning groundwater contamination where there were prior spills. “Some 95 such company facilities already have soil and/groundwater contamination problems of varying severity. “

Arco Oil & Gas Company

August 30, 1986

Arco Oil & Gas CompanyThis memo in 1986 is in regard to pit disposal, design and enclosure.  “There are some real concerns within A.R. Co. that pit disposal practices may be inadequate to protect the environment and could pose future liabilities for the company.

Office of Conservation

February 9, 2006

Office of ConservationGas was found in water wells in a subdivision that was built on top of a pit. The Office of Conservation decided not to inform landowners. The landowners should have been told of potential danger to their family. Why hide the fact that the aquifer is contaminated? That is the question we have to ask ourselves.