Louisiana Coastal Environmental Facts
What Big Oil & Gas Knew and When They Knew It:
Use of Unlined Pits
April 2, 1932
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
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
Shell Oil Company
October 12, 1979
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
August 30, 1984
March 27, 1986
Beginning 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
This 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
Gas 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.